LAS VEGAS -- The presidential race in Nevada is a virtual flip of the coin, with President Barack Obama holding a slim 47 percent to 46 percent lead over challenger Mitt Romney among likely voters, an 8 News NOW/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll released early Wednesday morning shows.
The statewide bilingual cell phone and landline poll, conducted by SurveyUSA of Clifton, N.J., involved 1,222 likely Nevada voters who were queried following the first presidential debate between Democrat Obama and Republican Romney in Denver on Oct. 3. The poll, with a 2.9 percent margin of error, also found that 3 percent favored other candidates and 4 percent were undecided.
The latest poll represents a slight narrowing from an 8 News NOW/Review-Journal poll conducted in August, at which time Obama held a 47-45 advantage. In 2008, Obama won Nevada by 12 percentage points over Republican John McCain.
Nevada has only six electoral votes but is considered a key battleground state. Both candidates have visited the state numerous times this year and are spending heavily on television advertising -- most of it negative -- in Southern Nevada.
The new poll found that Romney and Obama each were viewed favorably by 44 percent of respondents. But Obama was viewed unfavorably by 46 percent of those polled, versus 43 percent who had an unfavorable opinion of Romney. That translates to a favorable rating of plus one for Romney and minus two for Obama. In August Romney had a favorable rating of minus seven and Obama was at minus five.
Obama enjoys an advantage over Romney in these demographics: women, 52 to 43 percent; 18- to 49-year-olds, 51 to 40 percent; blacks, 81 to 14 percent; Hispanics, 54 to 41 percent; Democrats, 84 to 11 percent; moderates, 57 to 36 percent; liberals, 80 to 14 percent; non-military/veteran households, 52 to 41 percent; those who never went beyond high school, 53 to 39 percent; those who earn less than $40,000 annually, 56 to 37 percent; and suburban Clark County, 51 to 41 percent.
Romney holds an edge over Obama in these demographics: men, 48 to 43 percent; those 50 and older, 52 to 43 percent; whites, 51 to 42 percent; Asian-Americans, 47 to 44 percent; Republicans, 87 to 9 percent; tea party members, 80 to 14 percent; independents, 47 to 39 percent; conservatives, 82 to 14 percent; military/veteran households, 54 to 39 percent; those who earn more than $80,000 a year, 51 to 44 percent; middle income earners, 48 to 44 percent; Washoe County, 49 to 46 percent; and the remainder of the state, 56 to 32 percent.
The two men are tied at 48 percent each in Las Vegas and are virtually tied in both union and nonunion households. They're also tied among likely voters with college degrees.
The composition of the poll includes 40 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans and 25 percent independents. Moderates account for 40 percent, conservatives are represented by 32 percent, and 19 percent are liberals. Among those polled, 8 percent are tea party members, 20 percent belong to union households, and 38 percent live in military/veteran households.
By gender, 52 percent are male and the same percentage are ages 18 to 49. The respondents are 61 percent white, 20 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Asian-American and 8 percent black. Some 23 percent live in urban Las Vegas, 48 percent reside in the rest of Clark County, 16 percent call Washoe County home, and 13 percent live elsewhere in Nevada. Among respondents, 39 percent hold a college degree and 42 percent have some college experience. Some 32 percent earn less than $40,000 a year and 26 percent earn more than $80,000 annually.
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