5/31: Obama and Romney Neck and Neck in Nevada

NBC News/Marist Poll

In the battle for Nevada’s six electoral votes, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are very competitive.  Obama receives 48% to 46% for Mitt Romney, among registered voters in Nevada including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  One percent supports another candidate, and 5% are undecided.

map of nevada with magnifying glass“President Obama is nowhere near the twelve percentage point victory he had in Nevada four years ago, but at 48%, he remains within striking distance to carry the state,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Drilling down into the numbers, there is a gender gap and a generational divide which may tell the story on Election Day.”

Click Here for Complete May 31, 2012 Nevada NBC News/Marist Poll Release

Click Here for Complete May 31, 2012 Nevada NBC News/Marist Poll Tables

Key points:

  • Looking at party, 82% of Democrats support Obama while 88% of Republicans are for Romney.
  • Among independents, President Obama — 50% — is ahead of Romney — 39%.
  • Obama — 47% — and Romney — 47% — are tied among voters who have an excellent or good chance of voting.
  • Among voters who express a high level of enthusiasm about voting in November, Obama receives 50% to 46% for Romney.  Looking at those who are moderately enthusiastic, 52% are for Obama while 44% back Romney.  Among those who have a low level of enthusiasm, Romney has 49% to Obama’s 32%.
  • Regardless of voters’ degree of interest in the presidential contest, Obama and Romney are in a tight battle.  Obama garners 49% to 46% for Romney among those with a high level of interest.  Among those who express a moderate degree of interest, Romney takes 49% to 47% for Obama.  Obama has 45% to Romney’s 42% among those who have a low level of interest in the contest.
  • A majority of voters who strongly support their choice of candidate — 54% — support Obama compared with 46% for Romney.
  • There is a gender gap.  Romney has majority support — 52% — among men compared with 41% for Obama.  Obama has majority support — 54% — among women compared with 40% for Romney.
  • Obama carries younger voters.  Among those under 30, Obama has 54% while Romney receives 44%.  A majority of voters who are 30 to 44 years of age — 54% — also back the president.  39% of these voters are behind Romney.  The race is tied among voters 45 to 59 years old.  Obama has 47% in this age group, and Romney has 47%.  And, among voters 60 and older, Romney — 53% — leads Obama — 41%.

Table: 2012 Presidential Tossup (NV Registered Voters with Leaners)

Nearly Three in Four Express Strong Commitment to Candidate

How strongly do registered voters in Nevada support their choice of candidate?  74% are firmly in their candidate’s camp while 20% are somewhat behind their pick.  Five percent might vote differently, and only 1% is unsure.

Key points:

  • Almost eight in ten Obama supporters — 79% — are strongly committed to their choice of candidate while 69% of Romney’s backers express a similar degree of support.

Table: Intensity of Support (NV Registered Voters)

Half Very Enthusiastic About November Election

When it comes to voter enthusiasm, 50% of Nevada voters are very enthusiastic about voting in November’s presidential election.  This compares with 32% who are somewhat enthusiastic and 10% who are not too enthusiastic.  Seven percent are not enthusiastic at all.

Key points:

  • 53% of voters who support the president are very enthusiastic about going to the polls in the fall while a similar 51% of Romney backers say the same.

Table: Enthusiasm to Vote (NV Registered Voters)

Voters Divide about Obama’s Job Performance

While 46% of registered voters statewide approve of the job President Obama is doing in office, 47% disapprove.  Seven percent are unsure.

Table: President Obama Approval Rating in Nevada (NV Registered Voters)

Candidates Fare Favorably?  Both Receive Mixed Reviews

Looking at the favorability of the candidates, 48% of voters have a positive view of the president while 46% have a less than stellar one.  Six percent are unsure.

Voters also divide about Romney.  44% have a favorable impression of him compared with 41% who do not.  A notable 15% are unsure.

Table: President Barack Obama Favorability (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Mitt Romney Favorability (NV Registered Voters)

Nearly Half Say Position on Same-Sex Marriage Has Little Impact on Vote

While 27% of voters say they are more likely to cast their ballot for Romney because he opposes same-sex marriage and 25% report they are more likely to support President Obama because he supports same-sex marriage, 47% say the issue matters little to their vote.  Only 1% is undecided.

Table: Impact of Candidate’s Stance on Same-Sex Marriage (NV Registered Voters)

The Economy or Social Issues?  Nearly Eight in Ten Say the Economy

When it comes to the factor more important to their vote, 78% of the Nevada electorate believes the economy is the more pressing issue.  17%, though, report a candidate’s position on social issues has a larger influence on their vote.  Five percent are unsure.

Voters divide about the candidate who will do a better job handling the economy.  44% think the president is more adept at doing so while 44% say Romney is.  11% are unsure.

Looking at social issues, half — 50% — believe Mr. Obama is the candidate who more closely reflects their views.  This compares with 40% who report Mr. Romney shares their stance on these issues.  10% are unsure.

On other issues:

  • Half of voters — 50% — believe the president will do a better job at handling foreign policy while 40% think Romney is better suited to do so.  11% are unsure.
  • 49% perceive Obama to be the candidate who best understands voters’ problems.  This compares with 40% who have this impression of Romney.  11% are unsure.
  • Half — 50% — think Romney will do a better job reducing the national debt.  39% have this view of Obama.  11% are unsure.

Table: Which is More Important When Deciding Your Vote, the Economy or Social Issues (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Handling the Economy (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who More Closely Reflects Views on Social Issues (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Handling Foreign Policy (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Best Understands Voters’ Problems (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Candidate Who Will Do a Better Job Reducing the National Debt (NV Registered Voters)

Majority Views Economic Conditions as Inherited

56% of registered voters in Nevada believe President Obama mostly inherited the country’s economic conditions.  36%, though, say they are a result of his policies, and 8% are unsure.

Regarding the U.S. economy, a majority — 52% — believes the worst of the nation’s economic conditions are over.  40% think there is more bad economic news ahead.  Eight percent are unsure.

When it comes to the state of the economy over the next year, about one in three — 33% — thinks it will get better while 18% believe it will get worse.  A plurality — 44% — says it will remain about the same, and 5% are unsure.

Looking at family finances, a majority of voters — 54% — report their personal finances will remain steady in the coming year.  35% think their financial picture will get better, and 11% say it will get worse.

Table: Current Economic Conditions Inherited (NV Registered Voters)

Table: U.S. Economy — Will It Get Worse? (NV Registered Voters)

Table: The U.S. Economy in the Next Year (NV Registered Voters)

Table: Family Finances in the Coming Year (NV Registered Voters)

Get the Nation Back on Track, Says Majority

55% of the state’s voters say things in the country are off on the wrong track.  This compares with 39% who believe the nation is headed in the right direction.  Six percent are unsure.

Table: Right or Wrong Direction of the Country (NV Registered Voters)

Heller-Berkley Senate Race a Virtual Dead Heat

In the race for U.S. Senate in Nevada, Republican incumbent Dean Heller — 46% — and Democrat Shelley Berkley — 44% — are neck and neck among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  10% are undecided.

Table: 2012 Hypothetical U.S. Senate Tossup in Nevada: Berkley/Heller (NV Registered Voters with Leaners)

How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample