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Majority of Nevadans support Sisolak’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic, poll shows

Updated March 8, 2021 - 2:58 pm

Nevadans have favorable views of how Gov. Steve Sisolak and President Joe Biden are leading the state and nation, according to results of The Nevada Poll released Tuesday.

More than half of those surveyed supported Sisolak’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nevada Poll surveyed 500 likely voters across the state by phone and online from Feb. 26 to March 1, with a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

About 47 percent of respondents approved of Biden’s overall performance, compared with 40 percent who disapproved.

Gov. Sisolak’s approval was similar, at about 48 percent, with 43 percent disapproving. This marked an increase in both approval and disapproval for the governor since October, when 47 percent of respondents favored him and 40 percent did not.

“What’s changed for Sisolak since October is the independents, who were at 35 approve to 40 disapprove, have come around, as well as what we call the gray-collar workers — people without a college education who make more than $75,000 per year,” said Trevor Smith, research director for WPA Intelligence, who conducted the poll on behalf of the Review-Journal.

More than half (53 percent) of respondents approved of Sisolak’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. About 43 percent did not.

A little more than one-third (36 percent) of those surveyed were unhappy with the state’s vaccine distribution under Sisolak, while 49 percent approved of his work marshaling the mass-vaccination.

As is typical for the state, Biden and Sisolak, Democrats both, have slightly positive approval ratings in Washoe County, stronger support in Clark and much more negative ratings in the rural counties.

Smith also noted that while just 17 percent of Republican respondents approve of Sisolak’s overall performance, more than one-quarter (26 percent) approve of his vaccination plans.

Sisolak is up for re-election in 2022 and has been raising money for a second bid for the office, though he has not officially announced his intentions.

“The governor’s complete focus is on reopening safely, getting Nevadans vaccinated and helping get people back to work,” said Jim Ferrence, spokesman for Sisolak’s campaign. “The results clearly indicate Nevada voters support the governor’s leadership and steady hand during these incredibly trying times.”

On Tuesday, Biden announced the country will be able to vaccinate every American by the end of May.

The state’s vaccination process also ramped up on Tuesday, as vaccination lanes opened up for more front-line workers.

The political party registration breakdown of the latest Nevada Poll’s respondents was 38 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican and 26 percent nonpartisan or third party. About 46 percent said they had voted for Biden in 2020, while 44 percent chose former President Donald Trump.

Two-thirds of the Nevada Poll’s respondents identified as white, 14 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 9 percent as Black or African American, 5 percent as Asian-American and 3 percent as another race or ethnicity.

Slightly less than half (49 percent) of respondents identified as men, and 51 percent as women.

Parties react

The Nevada Republican Party criticized Sisolak in a statement Wednesday, saying he has subjected Nevadans to “a year of tyranny” and has failed to provide unemployment benefits to vulnerable Nevadans.

“Governor Sisolak has failed Nevadans at every turn during this pandemic,” the state GOP said. “What the polls do not reflect are the heart-wrenching stories of business owners and families struggling to make ends meet while the governor unilaterally shuts down our state with no meaningful plan for reopening.”

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II cheered the poll results in his own statement.

“Despite relentless and baseless attacks from the Nevada GOP, Nevadans know what we know: Gov. Steve Sisolak continues to put working families first when faced with incredibly difficult decisions regarding our state’s response to COVID-19,” McCurdy said.

“Nevada is among the hardest hit states, but with Gov. Sisolak at the helm, we’ve been able to reopen safely, get Nevadans vaccinated, and get employees and small business owners back to work.”

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

The crosstabs attached to a previous version of this story had a typographical error in the age breakdown of poll participants. The error has been corrected in the current crosstabs.

Poll crosstabs - Politics by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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