LAS VEGAS -- President Barack Obama holds a 47 percent to 45 percent edge over Republican rival Mitt Romney in an 8 News NOW/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll released early Wednesday morning, but the president's lead is within the margin of error.
The statewide poll of 869 likely voters by SurveyUSA of Clifton, N.J., also found that 5 percent of respondents favor other candidates and 4 percent are undecided. The poll was conducted by telephone from Aug. 16 through Tuesday and contained a 3.4 percent margin of error. Up for grabs are Nevada's six electoral votes for the November general election.
Among the key findings are that both Obama and Romney have higher unfavorable than favorable ratings among those polled, while respondents were evenly split in their opinion of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Romney's vice presidential running mate.
Democrat Obama enjoys an advantage over Romney in these demographics: Las Vegas, 49 to 44 percent; remainder of Clark County, 52 to 39 percent; women, 52 to 40 percent; 18- to 49-year-olds, 48 to 41 percent; African-Americans, 87 to 7 percent; Asian-Americans, 50 to 37 percent; Democrats, 82 to 13 percent; moderates, 57 to 34 percent; liberals, 83 to 9 percent; high school graduates, 49 to 39 percent; and those who earn less than $40,000 a year, 53 to 38 percent.
Romney holds the edge over Obama in these demographics: Washoe County, 52 to 41 percent; the rest of Nevada outside Clark County, 61 to 30 percent; men, 49 to 42 percent; 50 and older, 49 to 45 percent; whites, 50 to 40 percent; Republicans, 81 to 14 percent, independents, 44 to 39 percent; tea party members, 84 to 11 percent; conservatives, 81 to 12 percent; and those who earn more than $80,000 annually, 54 to 39 percent.
The race in Nevada is a virtual tie among those aged 50 to 64, Hispanics, and those with at least some college education.
Among other results in the presidential poll:
- Of the likely voters who voiced a preference for a candidate, 76 percent did so enthusiastically and 21 percent did so with reservations.
- Asked for their opinion of Obama, 41 percent have a favorable impression but 46 percent have an unfavorable view. An additional 11 percent are neutral.
- Romney attracted a favorable rating from 39 percent of respondents but an unfavorable opinion from 46 percent of others, with 13 percent remaining neutral.
- Ryan is viewed both favorably and unfavorably by 35 percent of likely voters, with 18 percent remaining neutral.
- To the question of whether Ryan's selection would make respondents more likely to vote for Romney, 28 percent answered affirmatively while 29 percent indicated they would be more likely to vote for Obama. An additional 42 percent said the Ryan selection isn't influencing their presidential preference.
- Among those polled, 70 said they are familiar with Ryan's thinking on Medicare and 21 percent indicated they aren't knowledgeable about his position. Among those familiar with his position, 48 percent support Ryan's Medicare plan and 47 percent are in opposition.
The breakdown of the poll included 39 percent Democrats, 36 percent Republicans and 23 percent independents. Moderates account for 39 percent of those polled, followed by conservatives, 33 percent, and liberals, 16 percent.
By gender 52 percent of the respondents are men. The age breakdown is 53 percent for 18- to 49-year-olds and 47 percent for older voters. The racial breakdown is 62 percent white, 19 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Asian-American and 8 percent black. Some 82 percent of those polled attended college, and half of those earned degrees. Of those polled, 30 percent earn less than $40,000 and 32 percent earn more than $80,000.
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