A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jill Derby Within 3 Points In New Poll!

Jill Derby is on course to making history. With every new poll she's inching up closer and closer to Republican Dean Heller. The newest Mason Dixon Poll, conducted Sep 19-21 was published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal today and it shows Jill Derby well within the margin of error:

Jill Derby 42%
Dean Heller 45%
MoE 5%

Jill Derby continues to be on an upward trend in this very Republican district that has never before elected a Democrat.

The last poll on this race was done by Research 2000 for the Reno Gazette-Journal. It also had Heller at 45% and Jill Derby at 37% (I've written about it here). So this poll is even better.

Here are all the numbers from today's poll:

HELLER 45% 49% 41% 14% 68% 45%
DERBY 42% 37% 47% 72% 21% 41%
KROCHUS 1% - 2% - - 3%
BABB - - - - - -
ROSEN - - - - - -
UNDECIDED 12% 14% 10% 14% 11% 11%

The other three are minor party candidates. Jill Derby actually leads handily among women voters. She's doing better among her own party, which is unusual when you compare it to other polls (like the Governor's race). More Republicans are voting for the Democrat and are undecided than the other way around. And she's awfully close among Independents. I think we have ourselves a race here.

Remember that NV-02 is a very Republican district. It encompasses all of Nevada except most of Clark County. The district was created after the 1980 census and has been represented in Congress by Republicans ever since.

This year it's an open seat because incumbent Jim Gibbons is running for Governor. The Republican candidate won the primary by a very slim margin. Dean Heller was considered to be the strongest Republican candidate. He was elected as Nevada's Secretary of State three times in a row. His opponents in the primary were the incumbents wife, Dawn Gibbins (who came in third), and Sharron Angle, who was heavily supported by the Club for Growth. Conventional wisdom in Nevada had it that Heller would be tougher to beat than Angle.

However, it seams that Jill Derby, an 18 year University Regent, is giving Dean Heller a run for his money. That might be why Heller is having Bush come to Reno for a fundraiser, something that would not have been necessary in this district in the past. Heller is bruised from the primary and was virtually broke after it.

Interestingly, the NRCC commissioned a poll in NV-02 after the primary. Yet, those numbers were never made public. The numbers could not have been good as both the earlier Research 2000 poll and today's Mason Dixon poll suggest.

To find out more about Jill Derby, visit her website.

If you would like to contribute to Jill Derby you can do so here.

In the meantime the Review-Journal has published the article to the poll on its website. Here are some excerpts:
The race is surprisingly close, considering a Democrat has not won the seat since its formation in 1982.

Republicans also hold a 48,000 voter registration advantage in the district, which covers the entire state except for central, urban portions of Clark County.

Dean Heller seems quite desperate:

"The fact I am 3 points ahead after a rough primary and the fact her television ads have gone unchallenged for a month bodes well for this campaign, " Heller said.

Heller, of Carson City, spent $1 million on the primary and has not yet raised much money for an advertising campaign for the Nov. 7 general election race.

But he said that will change quickly, particularly since President Bush will campaign and raise money on his behalf during an Oct. 2 appearance in Reno.

"That appearance will help me, especially in Northern Nevada," Heller said. "It will generate money for my campaign and help bring the Republican Party together."

Jill Derby on the other hand can stay confident:

Derby, of Gardnerville, said the race is close because many residents are tired of politics as usual and want someone who offers a fresh approach.

"Their bickering has frustrated me as much as anyone else," she said. "This campaign is catching fire. Things are not going well in Washington. People don't want more of the same."

Derby said she has shown she can get along with members of the opposition during her 18 years as an unpaid, non-partisan member of the state Board of Regents.

Derby said Heller received a lot of media attention during the primary while she was almost forgotten.

"It is my message that is catching on," said Derby, who did not face a primary opponent. "People see me as the new direction."


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