After trailing by as much as 13 points earlier this year, Shelley Berkley has moved into a tie with Dean Heller in the Nevada Senate race at 45%.
On PPP's last poll, in late July, Heller had led 46-43. The main thing that's happened since then is Berkley has consolidated the Democratic vote. Previously she was getting just 75% of the vote from within her own party, but that's now up to 82%, pretty comparable to Heller's 83% of the Republican vote. On all 3 previous PPP surveys of the race this year, all of which Heller had held the lead on, he was getting a much larger share of the GOP vote than Berkley was getting of the Democratic vote. With that gap erased, so is his lead.
When you dig deeper into the numbers on this poll you really see the makings of a race that could be a toss up all the way through next November. Heller's approval rating is a 39/35 spread. Berkley's favorability rating is a 38/35 spread. In addition to both candidates getting nearly identical shares of the vote from their parties, independents split nearly evenly as well with Heller holding a 39-37 advantage. Berkley has a 52-38 advantage with women. Heller has a 52-38 advantage with men.
A couple other notes:
-Nevadans definitely don't seem to like Senator Heller as much as they liked Representative Heller. In January his favorability was 46/23 and in April it was 43/29. After his appointment to the Senate we started asking job approval and in August he was at 38/35 and this month he's at 39/35. It definitely doesn't appear that his Senate appointment gave him an unfair head start for a full term- in fact it could prove to be a negative in the end.
-Berkley is leading 74-16 with Hispanics. That's pretty consistent with what Barack Obama got in 2008 and what Harry Reid got in 2010 with that group, and if Republicans can't do better with Hispanics it's going to make it very hard for them to win competitive races in the state moving forward.
Full results here