Challenger Joe McGill has a 4-point lead over incumbent Sharon Wehrly, according to an informal Pahrump Valley Times/Tonopah Times-Bonanza poll that asked readers who they supported in the race for Nye County sheriff.
Early voting begins on Oct. 22 when local voters will cast the first ballots between McGill, a Nye County officer, and his boss, incumbent sheriff Wehrly.
The general election is Nov. 8.
Ahead of that, we launched an online survey that was completed by 1,397 respondents between Oct. 6-12.
It shows 49.82 percent support McGill compared to 45.24 percent who support Wehrly.
About 4.9 percent support neither candidate, according to our poll.
Our survey is the largest of its kind conducted in the county’s race for sheriff, but admittedly, our poll is not scientific and largely anecdotal.
Political prognosticators should note its limitations.
For starters, our online poll was open to all who saw it, clicked and participated. We didn’t confine it to registered Nye County voters who have committed to casting their ballots — in other words, the people who will ultimately pick the winner of this race.
Our online poll was anonymous for all users and administered through SurveyMonkey, an online data facilitator which limits multiple responses from the same electronic device to better ensure that voters aren’t “stuffing the box” with multiple votes.
The poll was designed exclusively for online users and promoted primarily to our more than 13,600 Facebook followers.
Social media hermits and/or those without computer access likely didn’t participate, but that doesn’t mean those folks won’t find their way to the actual polls this election cycle.
While this year’s election in Nye County will be conducted with paper ballots, accommodations for electronic voting can and will be made for those with visual or physical limitations.
It’s unclear if and how that will influence turnout, but it’s worth mentioning because there’s been a lot of talk about it lately.
Our online poll was also written and administered in English. At the actual polls, registered Nye County voters can access ballot information in Spanish. Our county is also expected to be the first in the nation to provide election info in Shoshoni for the tribal voters near Duckwater in northern Nye County.
While our poll has other shortcomings, there’s a plus: we made it relatively easy for participants to vote. They didn’t have to wait in line at a polling station, or even put their pants on to drop off their ballot at a mailbox. Our poll could be completed in under 6 seconds from the comfort of their smartphone or computer.
A big thanks to all those who participated.
What you told us
While in-person exit polling is an effective way to gauge the sentiment of voters once they’ve cast their ballots, we relied solely on comments posted to our poll link on our Facebook page to capture public opinion on the sheriff’s race.
Dozens shared their thoughts, memes and more about the candidates for Nye County sheriff.
We asked “Who do you support?” Here’s a sampling of what you said:
“5-0 for Joe.”
“100% voting for Sheriff Wehrly. Angry Joey Magill doesn’t have the demeanor, experience or aptitude to be sheriff.”
“[McGill] is pretty much burying [Wehrly] with media junk, so I’m guess[ing] he will win.”
“[McGill] didn’t bury [Wehrly], she buried herself with her vindictive actions.”
“The dude that still has a frontal hairline!”
“I think this latest debacle may have been the one that swayed anyone still on the fence over who they may have been voting for.”
“Wehrly! After a talk with McGill, there is just no way.”
“Joe McGill… a SOLID man and GREAT Cop.. he will serve the people well!”
“Joe McGill showed incredibly poor judgement in showing up to an event that, at the time, was a single-candidate event. Do you think Sisolak and Lombardo go to each other’s events?”
“We need a new sheriff. Sharon is a nice person but incompetent at her job.”
“Neither. Nothing’s gonna change.”
Other comments we received weren’t so nice — but when has politics ever been a friendly game?
Good luck to both candidates in the race ahead. Check out other local races in our 2022 Election Guide inside Friday’s Pahrump Valley Times.
We’ll see you at the polls.
Contact Editor Brent Schanding@pvtimes.com.