TV host and MSNBC political analyst Jon Ralston defended Wednesday night the results of the Washington Free Beacon poll released last week on the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who discussed the poll on her show last Friday and went to great lengths to promote the Free Beacon‘s wonderful online store, Ralston said the results line up with another poll released Wednesday and show a clear trend that the Democratic race in Nevada has become virutally tied.
“I was on [your show] the last time you went through your extensive mockery of that Free Beacon poll,” Ralston told Maddow. “What’s really interesting about those two polls is they essentially showed the same thing.”
Maddow agreed before Ralston added, “And what they showed is a trend. And I think whether it’s a one point race or a five point race, I think both campaigns think that the race is close enough that it’s going to depend on what kind of new voters come, what the racial breakdown is on caucus day on Saturday.”
Ralston emphasized that “the race is close, whether it’s one point or five points or six points. Both campaigns in their internal data, from what I understand, think it’s close.”
The Free Beacon poll showed that presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt) are tied at 45 percent among likely caucusgoers in Nevada.
There has been little polling done in Nevada, but the results indicate that Sanders has surged in recent months after being being down by 23 points in December, according to a Gravis Marketing survey.
After Maddow questioned the results of the Free Beacon poll last Friday, a new CNN/ORC poll came out on Wednesday showing the same findings. The results indicate that 48 percent of likely caucus attendees support Clinton while 47 percent say they support Sanders.
Maddow and Ralston both said they want more information about the CNN/ORC poll’s methodology, but they agreed that the race is clearly tight and the results appear to be generally accurate.
Clinton is hoping to regain momentum in Nevada after losing by over twenty points to Sanders in the New Hampshire primary and barely edging him out in the Iowa caucus.