Poll points up importance of Latino vote in extremely close Nevada races for governor, U.S. senator

By: - October 27, 2022 3:38 pm

Adam Laxalt at a “Latinos con Laxalt” event in Las Vegas in May 2022. (Photo: Jeniffer Solis)

Despite Republican gains with Latino voters in 2020, Latinos continue to overwhelmingly support Democratic nominees in the state’s razor close Senate and gubernatorial contests, according to a new Univision poll.

Univision reported that Latinos represent 17% of registered voters in Nevada, making their vote critical in the governor and U.S. Senate contests.

Among registered Latino voters, 60% supported Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s reelection bid, compared to 27% who favored Republican nominee Adam Laxalt. A small fraction of registered Latino voters, 13%, said they were undecided or would vote for another candidate.

Results for the gubernatorial contest were nearly identical, according to the poll.  Registered Latino voters supported Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak by 60%, compared to 26% supporting Republican nominee Joe Lombardo and 14% who said they were undecided or supported another candidate.

Among all registered voters, the poll found what several others have been finding for weeks – very tight races in both contests, meaning Latino voters will likely be crucial to determining the outcomes.

Cortez Masto holds a 2-point lead over Laxalt in the poll, garnering 44% support to Laxalt’s 42% – effectively a statistical tie in a poll with a margin of error of 3.1%. 

The poll found the race for governor just as tight, with Sisolak leading by just two points over Lombardo.

A survey earlier this year estimated that nearly 1 in 5 midterm voters in Nevada will be Latino.

Other subgroups of voters showed strong preference for some candidates over others. 

Women preferred Cortez Masto over Laxalt by 11 percentage points. In contrast, men preferred Laxalt over his incumbent opponent by 8 percentage points.

Women similarly favored Sisolak over Lombardo by 11 percentage points, while men favored Lombardo by 7 percentage points.

White Nevadans displayed a strong preference for Republicans, according to the poll. More than half of white Nevadans said they plan to vote for Laxalt, compared to 35% who said they would vote for his Democratic opponent Cortez Masto. About half of white Nevadans also said they plan to vote for Lombardo, compared to 36% who said they’d vote for Sisolak.

Nevada voters with at least a four year degree were more likely to vote for Democratic nominees in the race for governor and Senate. More than half of voters with 4 year degrees said they would vote for Cortez Masto and Sisolak, while 39% said they would vote for Laxalt and Lombardo.

The poll, conducted by Sergio García-Ríos, director of polling and data at Univision Noticias, also asked voters about policy issues like border security, abortion, gun violence, climate change, student debt and inflation.

“Our polls highlight the diverse opinions and decisions within the Latino community across the U.S. and the complexity of the statewide voter sentiment,” said García-Ríos in a statement.

Latinos reported trusting Democrats more on a number of major issues, including gas prices, cost of prescription drugs, immigrant rights, border security, abortion and gun violence.

The cost of living was the biggest concern among all registered voters in Nevada followed by health care. 

Despite strong access to abortion in Nevada, the right to abortion was a significant concern for Nevada voters. Overall, voters listed abortion as their third biggest concern, tied with immigration. Latino voters surveyed listed abortion as their fourth largest concern. 

The surveys were conducted by BSP Research and Shaw & Associates from October 11-18, 2022. The surveys include a representative sample of all registered voters in Nevada.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Jeniffer Solis
Jeniffer Solis

Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies.