Nevada Poll: Heller 47 Percent, Derby 44 Percent

RENO, Nev. (AP) - With the election only a few days away, a poll shows the race between freshman Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Democratic challenger Jill Derby is tightening.

Heller had the support of 47 percent of 400 likely voters surveyed in Nevada's 2nd Congressional District compared with Derby's 44 percent.

The poll was conducted Saturday through Tuesday for the Reno Gazette-Journal and Channel 2 News by Maryland-based Research 2000.

It had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

A Gazette-Journal and Channel 2 News poll released Oct. 8 found Heller with 48 percent and Derby with 41 percent.

"(Derby's) main hope is that the Obama wave is so great that it sweeps her in," said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and a Republican. "The poll indicates she's getting a boost."

Both campaigns said they expected a close race from the start in the district that covers all of the state except most of the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

"It is encouraging to see her numbers are that high," Derby spokeswoman Kristin Cullen said. "That is really good news at this
point in the campaign."

Heller spokesman Stewart Bybee said the campaign is focused on turning out Republican voters.

"Another day, another poll," Bybee said. "We always expected it to be a tight race."

The race has turned increasingly negative, with Heller portraying Derby as a big-spending liberal and Derby tying Heller to the unpopular Bush administration.
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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-10-31-08 1250EDT


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