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Campaign 2018: GOP will increase lead in US Senate, survey finds

CARSON CITY — A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll shows Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat is still a toss-up between Democratic challenger Rep. Jacky Rosen and incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

The poll of likely Nevada voters calculated a three-point gain for Rosen — with a 48 percent advantage over Heller’s 45 percent — in the closely watched race. However, the three-point difference falls well within the 5.5 point margin of error for the survey, which was conducted for the political news site Axios.

The poll also revealed a likely Democratic victory in the Arizona Senate race, as well as Republicans unseating incumbent Democrats in Florida, North Dakota and Indiana. If those findings hold true on election night, Republicans will increase their lead in the Senate 51-49 or 52-48, and Democrats will have to wait until 2020 for another chance to win more seats in the upper chamber.

Statewide, the poll showed 48 percent of those identifying themselves as Democrat or leaning Democratic were enthusiastic about voting this November, compared with 42 percent of those who responded as Republicans/leaning Republican. 

Automatic voter registration

A report from the Center for American Progress says that automatic voter registration could instantly add nearly 72,000 new voters in the Silver State.

A citizen petition that would have automatically registered people to vote at the DMV made it to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk last year. But the governor vetoed the petition, sending it to the November ballot.

In his veto letter, Sandoval said that the petition “extinguishes a fundamental, individual choice — the right of eligible voters to decide for themselves whether they desire to apply to register to vote — forfeiting this basic decision to the state government.”

He also added that automatically registering voters would create the risk of registering someone who is not eligible to vote, which would subject them to potential criminal charges, fines or other legal problems.

The ballot measure, Question 5, would register a person to vote upon their application to the Department of Motor Vehicles for things such as driver’s license renewals and address changes.

‘Pawn Stars’

Republican congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian is getting a campaign boost from Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” fame.

Harrison is scheduled to appear as a special guest at a July 24 fundraiser for Tarkanian’s campaign for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses much of Clark County, including the south side of the Las Vegas Valley and all of Henderson.

Tarkanian is facing Democrat Susie Lee, a philanthropist and education advocate.

News and notes

NextGen America, the super PAC tied to California billionaire and progressive activist Tom Steyer, opened a Las Vegas office, at 2330 Paseo Del Pardo, on Thursday. Steyer infused $2 million into efforts in Nevada to registered and engage young voters across the state with the hope of defeating Heller and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt.

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen received an endorsement from the Natural Resources Defense Council’s political arm. Kevin Curtis, executive director of the group, praised Rosen for being a “proven fighter for clean energy jobs in Nevada, protecting public lands and safeguarding our environment.”

^

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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