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CNN Polls: Missouri, Nevada Senators face close races in re-election bids

The sitting Senators in two of the most closely watched re-election fights this fall are running nearly even...

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 11:00 AM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 11:00 AM

The sitting Senators in two of the most closely watched re-election fights this fall are running nearly even with their challengers, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill edges challenger Josh Hawley 47% to 44% among likely voters in Republican-friendly Missouri, while Republican Sen. Dean Heller stands four points behind his Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen in Nevada (47% Rosen to 43% for Heller), which has broken for Democrats in each of the last three presidential contests and has been a regular Senate battleground in the last decade.

Claire McCaskill

Continents and regions

Dean Heller

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Midwestern United States

Missouri

Nevada

North America

Political candidates

Political Figures - US

Politics

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

US Congress

US Senate

Voters and voting

Related: Full poll results for Missouri and for Nevada

In both states, the political equilibrium has been shifting away from the party of the incumbent senator up for reelection this year. Missouri is one of several states where Democratic Senators are on defense in deep-red territory, a playing field that could be a bright spot for the GOP even while control of the House of Representatives is squarely in play. Nevada is widely seen as Democrats' best Senate pickup opportunity.

President Donald Trump's approval rating among likely voters is a mirror image in these two states, illustrating the political challenge facing each Senator. While 51% of Missouri likely voters approve of Trump's performance, an equal 51% of Nevada likely voters disapprove of the way the President is handling his job.

In Missouri, both McCaskill and Hawley have net-positive favorability ratings among those likely to vote, albeit not by large margins: 49% favorable to 46% unfavorable for McCaskill and 43% favorable to 38% unfavorable for Hawley. A sizable 19% of likely voters have yet to form an opinion about Hawley. Among the broader group of registered voters, views on McCaskill are almost evenly split, 46% unfavorable to 45% favorable, while Hawley's numbers remain positive, 40% favorable to 34% unfavorable.

Heller is underwater in favorability in Nevada, with 44% of registered voters viewing him unfavorably vs. 40% favorably. Rosen's numbers tilt positive, 39% favorable to 36% unfavorable, but about a quarter (26%) are unsure of how they feel about her.

About 1 in 5 likely voters who have chosen a candidate in each state say they could change their minds about the Senate race before Election Day.

Women break for the Democrat by double-digit margins in both states (55% to 38% in Missouri, 52% to 38% in Nevada), while men favor the Republican nominee in both (by 13 points in Missouri, 7 in Nevada).

Independents back the incumbent in both states, but McCaskill benefits from their support more than Heller does. Independents in Missouri break sharply in McCaskill's favor, 50% back her and 36% Hawley Another 8% back one of the two third-party candidates who will appear on the ballot in November, 6% behind Libertarian Japheth Campbell, 2% Green Jo Crain. Nevada independents tilt toward Heller (43% to 35%) while being more likely than Missouri voters to stay away from the two major parties and choose the Libertarian candidate (10% back Tim Hagan) or the "none of these candidates" option that Nevada includes on its ballot (11%).

Health care is key

Health care tops voters' priority list in both states, with 31% of Missouri voters calling it the most important issue in deciding their vote along with 26% saying so in Nevada. The economy ranks second in both states, 21% choose it in Missouri and 23% do so in Nevada. Nevada voters are more apt to prioritize immigration than are Missouri voters (17% in Nevada vs. 12% in Missouri).

Las Vegas, Nevada, was the site of one of the worst mass shootings in US history one year ago and 10% of voters in the state say gun policy is their most important issue in deciding whom to support for Senate, about the same as in other states where CNN has asked this question. Younger voters (21% of those under age 35 call it their top issue compared with 10% or less among older voters) are more apt than others to call it their top issue.

Those likely voters who say health care is their top issue break heavily for the Democrat in both states (McCaskill holds a 69% to 27% lead among that group, while Rosen tops Heller 74% to 16% among health care voters in Nevada). Voters more focused on the economy or immigration are more apt to back to the Republican in both contests.

In the Nevada gubernatorial contest, Democrat Steve Sisolak edges Republican Adam Laxalt 45% to 41%, with 5% saying they back Libertarian Jared Lord and 7% none of these candidates, an option that is included on the Nevada ballot.

The CNN Polls in Missouri and Nevada were conducted by SSRS September 25 through 29 among random statewide samples reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. In Missouri, results for the full sample of 1,003 adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, for the subset of 906 registered voters, it is plus or minus 3.9 and for the 756 likely voters plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. In Nevada, results for the full sample of 1,003 respondents have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. It is 4.1 for the sample of 851 registered voters and 4.6 for results among the 693 likely voters.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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