Joe Heck has reason to be happy. An NRCC poll today, mentioned by Hotline, combined with an analysis of early and absentee votes cast in NV-3 indicate the Republican challenger may well defeat freshman Democrat Dina Titus and win a House seat for the GOP.
The NRCC poll — surveying 400 likely voters and conducted October 21-24 with a margin of error of +/- 4.9% — shows Heck up by seven points (49-42). This result may be a bit fluffy, but a four- or five-point lead is certainly believable and would make sense if Heck has experienced a slight uptick since a recent Hill poll showed him winning by three points, 47-44 percent.
Notably, in the Hill survey, Heck beat Titus 57-33 among independent voters. If undecideds and nonpartisans break for Heck at about that rate, a GOP win is realistic barring a huge, unexpected Democrat surge on Election Day.
As for the vote tallies in NV-3, early votes combined with mail-in ballots show 60,559 Republicans have voted compared to 64,161 Democrats and 148,596 third party and nonpartisan voters. The net difference gives Democrats a lead of just 3,602 votes and has Heck in the red by just two percent.
Conventional wisdom combined with a little number crunching dictates Democrats would need roughly an 8,000 vote, or a four-percent lead, going into election day to have a shot at holding onto the hotly contested seat. This is unlikely to happen, though, with early voting ending today.
Bottom line, Titus needed a huge Democratic turnout to overcome both GOP turnout and her deficit with independents. It does not look like that is going to happen, which means Dr. Joe Heck may soon have a new job title.