LAS VEGAS -- President Barack Obama extended his lead over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Nevada over the past two weeks and is now ahead 50 percent to 46 percent in the Silver State, according to an 8 News NOW/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll released early Thursday morning.
The statewide cell phone and landline poll of 1,212 likely and actual voters, conducted Oct. 23 through Monday by SurveyUSA of Clifton, N.J., had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Independent American Party candidate Virgil Goode each received 1 percent and 2 percent remain undecided.
The pollster characterized the results as "a likely win for Democrat Obama." Among those who already voted, Obama leads 52 to 46 percent, and among those who plan to vote before Tuesday, the president is ahead 49 to 46 percent. Romney edges Obama 47 to 46 percent among those who plan to vote Tuesday.
An 8 News NOW/LVRJ poll two weeks ago had Obama leading Romney 48 to 45 percent.
At stake are Nevada's six electoral votes, with the victor needing 270 nationwide to claim the presidency. Nevada is one of the key battleground states, which is why both Obama and Romney have visited Las Vegas numerous times this year and have advertised heavily through the valley's media outlets.
Equal portions of respondents, 44 percent, view Obama favorably and unfavorably, producing a zero favorability rating. That's a slight improvement from minus one in the prior poll. But Romney, who had a zero favorability rating two weeks ago, slipped to minus four in the latest survey. He is now viewed favorably by 42 percent but unfavorably by 46 percent.
Obama enjoys an advantage over Romney in these demographics: women, 53 to 42 percent; 18- to 49-year-olds, 54 to 41 percent; blacks, 88 to 8 percent; Hispanics, 58 to 36 percent; Asian-Americans, 52 to 36 percent; Democrats, 85 to 12 percent; those who aren't affiliated with the tea party, 53 to 42 percent; moderates, 57 to 38 percent; and liberals, 86 to 10 percent.
Obama also leads in nonunion households, 50 to 45 percent; households without active military members or veterans, 53 to 42 percent; those who never went beyond high school, 60 to 35 percent; those who earn less than $40,000 a year, 61 to 31 percent; Las Vegas residents, 54 to 43 percent; and those who live elsewhere in Clark County, 53 to 42 percent.
Romney holds the edge over Obama in these demographics: men, 49 to 46 percent; those 50 and older, 51 to 45 percent; whites, 55 to 42 percent; Republicans, 87 to 9 percent; independents, 49 to 42 percent; tea party members, 79 to 18 percent; conservatives, 84 to 14 percent; union households, 52 to 45 percent; active military/veteran households, 53 to 42 percent; middle-income earners, 50 to 45 percent; those who earn at least $80,000 annually, 52 to 46 percent; Washoe County residents, 48 to 46 percent; and residents of rural Nevada, 60 to 33 percent.
The two major party candidates are tied or within 1 percent of each other among those who attended college or earned college degrees.
Participants in the poll included 607 women and 605 men. Among respondents, 53 percent are 18 to 49 years old, 61 percent are white, 21 percent are Hispanic, 11 percent are Asian-American and 8 percent are black. Some 43 percent already voted and an additional 33 percent plan to do so before Tuesday.
Of those polled, 43 percent are Democrats, 33 percent are Republicans and 23 percent are independents. The ideological breakdown is 38 percent moderates, 32 percent conservatives and 19 percent liberals, with 8 percent stating they belong to the tea party. Some 19 percent belong to union households and 35 percent live in active military/veteran households.
Half of the respondents live in Clark County outside Las Vegas, while 22 percent live in the city, 16 percent reside in Washoe County and 12 percent call rural Nevada home. Some 82 percent attended college or obtained a degree, 41 percent are middle-income earners, 31 percent earn more than $80,000 annually and 29 percent make less than $40,000 a year.
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