Poll shows Titus leading over Porter

He might be the incumbent, but Republican Rep. Jon Porter may face an uphill battle against his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Dina Titus, according to a new poll conducted for her campaign.

The poll finds Titus leading Porter, 43 percent to 39 percent, among voters in Congressional District 3, which includes mostly suburban areas of the Las Vegas Valley.

Ten percent of those polled chose one of three third-party candidates, while 7 percent said they were undecided. The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted July 23 to July 28 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

When the third-party candidates were excluded and respondents were asked to choose only between Titus and Porter, Titus’ lead widened. In that scenario, Titus had the support of 50 percent, and Porter had 43 percent.

"I think it’s a strong indicator that people in the district want change in Washington," Titus campaign manager Jay Gertsema said. "I also think it represents the fact that people in the district know Dina’s someone who’s going to fight hard for them."

The poll was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research, a national firm that conducts polls for Democratic candidates. The poll is the first conducted by the Titus campaign since the political science professor and former gubernatorial nominee entered the race in April.

"Democrat Dina Titus may have entered the race late, but she leads Republican Congressman Jon Porter right out of the blocks," the pollster wrote in a memo accompanying the poll.

Pollster John Anzalone said Titus is running at a good time for Democrats across the country.

"The political environment is really good for Democrats. That certainly is helping someone like Dina Titus," he said. "The fact that she is a known quantity and well liked is even better."

When those surveyed in the poll were asked their opinion of Porter’s job performance, 50 percent rated it positively, while 41 percent saw it negatively. Titus’ performance as a state senator got higher marks: 56 percent positive, 32 percent negative.

The campaign also asked those surveyed whether they viewed the candidates favorably or unfavorably, a metric that tends to gauge likability, which might be somewhat different than what people think of a politician’s performance. The campaign refused to release the results of this question, but Anzalone said they were the same for both Porter and Titus.

In the job approval rating, Porter is suffering from people’s dim view of Congress overall, Anzalone said. "People are much more disenchanted with Congress than they are with the state Legislature."

Also, he said there may be a "buyer’s remorse" effect from the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, in which Titus was defeated by Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons, whose approval rating plummeted to 21 percent in June.

A spokesman for Porter, a former Boulder City mayor and state senator who is seeking re-election to a fourth term, was skeptical that the poll results reflect the true feelings of the district’s electorate.

Matt Leffingwell said that a Review-Journal poll last month put Porter ahead of Titus, 45 percent to 42 percent, with 13 percent undecided.

"Any poll that shows only 7 percent undecided at this point in the race is suspect," Leffingwell said. "Secondly, it’s highly suspicious that there’s such a shift from an independent poll just a month ago."

But Leffingwell did not deny that Porter faces a tough fight to keep his seat in the House of Representatives.

"We have said before that this is going to be one of the most competitive races in the country," he said. "The race is incredibly fluid, and these numbers will continue to fluctuate throughout the campaign. The congressman remains confident that when a clear contrast is drawn, voters will choose real leadership."

Outsiders often suspect that polls conducted by political campaigns will be biased in the campaign’s favor. The pollster is a campaign consultant, a member of the candidate’s team helping to develop a strategy and message. But campaigns do not pay pollsters to tell them what they want to hear, Anzalone said.

"We wouldn’t be worth our weight in gold if we didn’t give the real answers so that everything is realistic and we can base campaign strategy on reality," he said.

Campaigns often commission polls that show them losing; they just don’t release those results to the public or the media, Anzalone said.

Based on the way it was conducted, the new poll might underestimate Titus’ support. The polling firm included equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans in its survey, but there are substantially more Democrats and Republicans in the district.

In previous elections, the district has been almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with a large number of nonpartisan voters. But in recent months, Democrats have gained an advantage.

According to the Clark County Election Department, as of July 24, there were more than 25,000 more Democrats than Republicans registered to vote in the district. Of the district’s voters, 44 percent are registered Democrats, 37 percent Republicans.

Anzalone said the polling firm wanted to be conservative in its approach and not overstate the potential effect of the recent Democratic gains.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas political scientist David Damore said the poll "shows that Porter is in trouble," something already indicated by the changes in the makeup of the district.

"The Republican brand is in trouble, and all of Jon Porter’s attempts to become a moderate haven’t really bought him much," Damore said.

The hardest thing for a congressional challenger to build, he said, is name recognition, and Titus has that built-in, giving her an edge.

"In this kind of race, if you don’t like the incumbent, you still may not vote for the opposition if it’s a no-name," he said. "She’s got name recognition, experience and money — all the things Jon Porter wouldn’t want to see in an opponent."

Titus and Porter first must win their parties’ nominations in the primary election, for which early voting is under way. Both are expected to easily defeat little-known opponents.

Porter faces fellow Republicans Carl Bunce and Jesse Law, while Titus faces Democrats Barry Michaels, Anna Nevenic and Carlo Poliak.

In the general election, Independent American Party candidate Floyd Fitzgibbons, Green Party candidate Bob Giaquinta, independent candidate Jeffrey Reeves and Libertarian Party candidate Joseph Silvestri also will be on the ballot.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like