Heller leads Dem Senate challenger by 1 point: poll

Heller leads Dem Senate challenger by 1 point: poll
© Greg Nash

Nevada Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R) leads his Democratic challenger by just 1 point in a new poll.

A survey from the Nevada Independent/Mellman Group finds that Heller leads Democratic Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump administration secretly shipped plutonium to Nevada Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (Nev.) 40-39 in the state, with 21 percent of respondents still undecided about their vote in the upcoming midterms.

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Heller is considered one of the most vulnerable senators on the ballot in November, after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE won Nevada in 2016.

Notably, Rosen leads Heller by 2 percent in the category of voters who "strongly" support a candidate, suggesting an enthusiasm gap that favors Democrats. Thirty percent of respondents "strongly" support Rosen, according to the poll, while just 28 percent "strongly" support Heller.

Heller's favorability in the state is underwater in the poll, with 40 percent of voters viewing him unfavorably compared to 38 percent who approve of his job performance as senator. Rosen, meanwhile, enjoys a 20 percent favorability rating compared to 15 percent who view her unfavorably.

Heller benefits from name recognition, however. Just 8 percent of Nevada voters say they hadn't heard of Dean Heller, compared to 34 percent who said they hadn't heard of Rosen.

A one-term senator who won reelection by just 1 point in 2012, Heller's seat is viewed as an important target for Democrats seeking to retake the Senate in November. Democrats need a net gain of two seats to flip the upper chamber — a difficult prospect with so many Democratic senators on the ballot in red states.

The Nevada Independent/Mellman Group survey contacted 600 likely Nevada voters between April 12-19 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.