Joe Lombardo's Chances of Beating Steve Sisolak in Nevada: Polls

Former President Donald Trump will campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo in Nevada on Friday, as the GOP aims to flip the western state's governor's mansion red and oust incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak in the midterm election.

Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County, won Nevada's Republican primary last month after Trump endorsed him in the gubernatorial race in April. The law enforcement official now hopes to defeat Sisolak when Nevadan voters go to the ballot box on November 8.

The former president will hold a rally for Lombardo, as well as for Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, on Friday at the Treasure Island resort on the Las Vegas Strip—in a bid to bolster support for the GOP contenders. Recent polls show the Democratic incumbent governor has a narrow advantage, but the race could be tight.

FiveThirtyEight's current average of Nevada polls shows Sisolak with a narrow 2.1 percent lead. The incumbent Democrat has the support of about 42.5 percent of Nevadans compared to 40.4 percent who back Lombardo. The average takes into consideration the quality of the polls, how recently they were conducted, the sample size and their partisan lean.

The most recent survey, which was carried out by WPA Intelligence for the pro-Republican Club for Growth PAC from June 4 to 6, showed Lombardo with a slim lead of 1 percent. The Trump-backed sheriff came in at 48 percent compared to the incumbent governor's 47 percent. The poll included 502 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Sisolak and Lombardo
Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo hopes to defeat Democratic incumbent Governor Steve Sisolak in November. Above to the left, Sisolak poses for a photo at halftime of a game between the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena on May 31 in Las Vegas. Above to the right, Lombardo poses for a photo at an Injured Police Officers Fund of Nevada fundraiser at the Sahara West Urgent Care & Wellness parking lot on June 11, 2020, in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Previously in May, before Lombardo and Sisolak were officially chosen by voters in their respective parties' primaries, survey data from the University of Nevada showed the incumbent Democrat with a double-digit lead. Sisolak had the support of 43 percent compared to 31 percent who backed Lombardo, a lead of 12 points for the incumbent governor.

The survey included 1,048 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

An April poll carried out by OH Predictive Insights had Sisolak 9 points ahead of Lombardo. The survey showed the Democrat with 44 percent among registered voters while 35 percent backed his GOP rival. It included 748 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

In his first gubernatorial election in 2018, Sisolak won with 49.3 percent of the vote in Nevada compared to his Republican opponent's 45.3 percent. The state then went for President Joe Biden in 2020 over former President Donald Trump by a margin of 2.4 percent. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held roughly the same margin over Trump in 2016, although she garnered less overall support than Biden did four years later.

Prior to Sisolak's 2018 victory, the western state had a history of electing Republican governors. From 1999 through January 2019—for two decades—Nevada had GOP governors in Carson City. Whether Lombardo can return the state to that recent trend with Trump's support remains to be seen.