Suffolk University/USA Today Poll Shows Warren Closing in on Biden in Nevada

Strong Democratic support for House proceedings to impeach Justice Kavanaugh

Nearly two-thirds of Silver State Democrats support mandatory buybacks of AK-47s and AR-15s

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is polling a close second to front-runner Joe Biden among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Nevada, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY network survey released today. The 4-point spread between Warren and the former vice president is within the margin of error.

Biden (23 percent) led Warren (19 percent), Bernie Sanders (14 percent), Kamala Harris (4 percent), while Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer were tied at 3 percent each, and over 21 percent were undecided.

When it came to voters' second choices, Warren led Biden 19 percent to 16 percent, with Sanders at 12 percent and Harris, 10 percent.

"Nevada was Elizabeth Warren's weakest early state, but this finding shows that she has reached an important inflection point,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “If you add this to her growing strength in Iowa and New Hampshire, you can envision how the field could winnow quickly going into Super Tuesday.”

Nearly 79 percent of self-identified caucus-goers said they’ll vote for the eventual Democratic nominee, while 15 percent would not vote for a nominee who was not their favored candidate, and 6 percent were undecided.

A majority of Nevada Democrats said it is very important or somewhat important for them that the eventual Democratic nominee champion the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, higher taxes on the very wealthy, breaking up big tech companies, free higher education, and impeaching President Trump. Higher taxes on the very wealthy was seen as very important by 61 percent, while an additional 26 percent said it is somewhat important.

ABC debate

Although a majority of respondents did not watch the most recent debate (54 percent), there were clear opinions about candidates’ debate performances among those who did watch. Nevada caucus-goers said that Elizabeth Warren (23 percent) and Pete Buttigieg (19 percent) did better than expected. Biden’s reviews were mixed, with 22 percent saying his performance did not meet expectations and 15 percent saying he did better than expected.

Mandatory buybacks

Nevada Democratic voters overwhelmingly favored the concept of mandatory buybacks of AR-15s and AK-47s, as floated by Beto O’Rourke during the debate, but that support did not translate into backing for the former Texas congressman. Sixty-five percent supported the idea, while 27 percent opposed it. Despite the overwhelming numbers, only 1 percent of respondents said O’Rourke is their first-choice candidate, while 4 percent picked him as their second choice.

Kavanaugh impeachment question

With new calls for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of renewed attention to sexual assault allegations, 57 percent of respondents supported that course of action; 23 percent opposed impeachment; and 20 percent were undecided.

Caucus issues

Democratic voters were split on the Democratic National Committee’s recent ruling banning virtual caucuses in Nevada and Iowa. Virtual caucuses would have allowed Democrats to select candidates without being present at the respective caucuses. Over 36 percent agreed with the DNC’s virtual caucus ban, while 39 percent disagreed, and 24 percent weren’t sure.

A plurality of Democrats favor changing from a caucus to a primary system: 47 percent support adopting a Democratic primary system; 30 percent of caucus-goers want to continue the current system; and 23 percent were undecided.


The statewide survey of 500 likely Democratic caucus-goers was conducted Sept. 19 through Sept. 23 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were registered to vote. The margin of error is +/-4.4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].

In the Media

Suffolk/RGJ poll: Elizabeth Warren closing in on Joe Biden's lead among Nevada Democrats

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