Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., has a slight, five-point lead over Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in the Nevada Senate race according to a poll conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Berkley leads Heller 42 percent to 37 percent according to the survey, which was conducted by Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. The results are essentially unchanged from the previous survey the Mellman Group conducted from March 13-15, which showed Berkley leading Heller 42 percent to 38 percent.
In late April, Heller was appointed senator by Gov. Brian Sandoval following then-Sen. John Ensign's, R-Nev., decision to step down. Heller was sworn in on May 9. This is the first survey on the race released publicly since Heller joined the upper chamber. Heller's unfavorables have ticked up since the previous poll - climbing from 15 percent to 22 percent. His favorability is down slightly, from 36 percent to 34 percent. Berkley has a more positive image: 36 percent had a favorable view of her, while 19 percent had an unfavorable opinion.
The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted June 11-14 and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percent. Jon Ralston has the full polling memo over at the Las Vegas Sun website.
It's worth noting, as Ralston points out, that Mellman polled for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's 2010 reelection campaign, and his numbers were on the mark while other public pollsters showed a tied race or slight leads for Reid's GOP opponent, Sharron Angle.
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