Poll Finds Tight Race For Nevada Supreme Court

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A poll found Las Vegas lawyer Kris Pickering and rival Washoe County Family Court Judge Deborah Schumacher in a tight race for a Nevada Supreme Court seat, with incumbent Chief Justice Mark Gibbons well ahead of his opponent in a bid for a second term.

Pickering had 33 percent support and Schumacher had 30 percent among likely voters surveyed for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. But
26 percent of respondents said they were undecided. Eleven percent
said they wanted neither candidate.

Gibbons led Las Vegas attorney Thomas Christensen 45 percent to 16 percent, with 23 percent undecided and 16 percent supporting neither candidate.

The statewide poll of 625 registered and likely voters was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday for the Review-Journal by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, D.C. It had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

By more than 2-to-1, respondents said they favored a second vote to amend the state constitution to prevent government from using eminent domain to seize private property and turn it over to developers.

Fifty-eight percent said they backed the amendment, Question 2 on the ballot, while 25 percent opposed it and 17 percent were undecided.

The issue passed two years ago with 63 percent of the vote. In Nevada, constitutional amendments must be approved twice.

Of the 535 poll respondents living in Clark and Washoe counties, 59 percent said they supported increasing hotel room taxes to pay for public education. Twenty-eight percent said they opposed the idea, with 13 percent undecided.

If the advisory question wins approval on Tuesday, the Legislature is expected in 2009 to raise the room tax in the state's two most populous counties. In Clark County, the increase would be to 13 percent, from the current 10 percent.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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

AP-NY-10-31-08 1300EDT

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