PPP's newest look at the Nevada Senate race finds the same thing most of its polling on the contest has found: a narrow advantage for Dean Heller. The incumbent leads with 46% to 43% for Shelley Berkley. Four PPP polls conducted since last April have found a 4 point Heller lead, a 3 point advantage, a tie, and now another 3 point advantage.
One thing worth noting since PPP's last poll of the race is that Berkley's favorability numbers have taken a bad turn. 33% of voters say they have a positive opinion of her to 40% with a negative one. The 3 previous polls had found her at 38/35, 33/33, and 34/31. Berkley's had some not so great press coverage and it does appear to be impacting her image.
Heller's approval numbers have pretty consistently stayed on narrowly positive ground in the low 40's or upper 30's since he was appointed to the Senate last spring. 43% of voters approve of him to 36% who disapprove. His higher than normal 23% approval rating with Democrats is the key to his success in a state that looks like it will probably go for Barack Obama again in 2012.
Berkley's significantly underperforming Obama with both Hispanics and African Americans. Berkley leads Heller by 21 with Hispanics, but Obama has a 39 point advantage over Mitt Romney with them. And Berkley's 47 point lead with African Americans is a good deal less than the 79 point advantage Obama has. Berkley, perhaps more than any other Democratic Senate candidate in the country, may be relying on Obama's coattails to win election.
This remains one of the closest races in the country, but Heller continues to have a nominal advantage.
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