RENO — Despite Republicans’ efforts to gain a foothold with Nevada’s Latino voters, early CNN exit polls show that public relations have been largely unsuccessful.
The CNN exit polls, which compared more than 2,900 voter responses in the US Senate and governor races, showed that 62 percent of respondents who identified as Latino supported Senator Catherine Cortez Masto over her opponent, the former Attorney General Adam Laxalt agreed. In the gubernatorial race, Gov. Steve Sisolak received 62 percent of the Latino vote, compared to Republican Joe Lombardo’s 37 percent.
Still, it could be a sign that Latinos are increasingly breaking away from the Democratic Party. Latino voters, who made up nearly 20 percent of Nevada voters as of 2020, according to the Pew Research Center, have historically voted Democratic. However, some reports suggest support is waning, and an October Washington Post-Ipsos poll showed that while Democrats held a 27-point lead among Hispanic voters, that number was down from nearly 40 points in 2018 is.
Latino respondents made up 12 percent of the sample in the CNN Senate poll and 13 percent in the poll for the governor’s race. White respondents made up 67 percent of participants in both polls, while Black respondents made up 11 percent and Asian respondents 4 percent. “Other racial/ethnic groups” made up the remaining 5 percent of respondents.
In both the gubernatorial race and the Senate, 58 percent of white voters voted Republican, while 83 percent of black voters voted for their Democratic challengers. A majority of voters who identified as Asian voted 57 percent for Cortez Masto and 54 percent for Sisolak. Respondents who voted for “other racial/ethnic groups” voted 48 percent for the incumbent Democratic senator and 47 percent for the incumbent Democratic governor.
Exit surveys have limitations such as: B. large margins of error, and are better suited as a preliminary look at trends in the electorate than solid data, said Christina Ladam, professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“You’re likely to find people who are more extreme than the general electorate because those are the people who are comfortable sharing their views,” she said.
But exit polls, despite their limitations, can provide real-time analytics, said Dan Lee, a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“It gives us a preliminary snapshot of what happened and it gives us a sense of what could have happened,” he said.
Voters ‘not confident’ in electoral justice choose Lombardo, Laxalt
And one of the defining issues of the election for voters and analysts alike is election integrity.
The CNN poll asked respondents if they were confident their state’s elections were “fair/accurate”; 76 percent responded that they were “confident” and 21 percent said they were “not confident”.
Not surprisingly, 85 percent of respondents who said they didn’t trust the election voted for Laxalt, who was the face of Trump-backed lawsuits falsely alleging widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Laxalt later admitted that President Joe Biden won the election. Of those polled who said they were confident, 59 percent said they would vote for Cortez Masto, while 39 percent voted for Laxalt.
In the gubernatorial race, 89 percent of respondents who said they were not confident about the election voted for Lombardo, who received Trump’s endorsement but later sought to distance himself from the former president. Lombardo has claimed Biden won in 2020 but has campaigned to end universal mail on ballots and implement other election changes.
Of those who said they had confidence in the election, 59 percent voted for Sisolak, while 38 percent voted for Lombardo.
Inflation, abortion divide voters
The Exit poll also asked voters which issue was most important to them. The economy was one of the most important issues for voters, with 36 percent of respondents ranking it as the most important issue in their vote, followed by abortion at 28 percent. Other issues listed are crime, immigration and gun policy.
In the Senate race, 89 percent of those who chose abortion as their top issue voted for Cortez Masto, while 72 percent of those who chose inflation voted for Laxalt. The split was similar in the governor’s race. Of those who chose abortion, 87 percent voted for Sisolak, while 71 percent of those who chose inflation as their main issue voted for Lombardo.
Of those polled, 34 percent identified as Democrats, 36 percent as Republicans, and 30 percent as independents.
According to CNN, the responses came from in-person interviews held on Election Day, as well as telephone and online polls, to reflect those who voted early or by mail. The interviews were conducted by Edison Research and the full sample of respondents, which included 18,571 respondents, has a plus or minus 2 percentage point margin of error.