President Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in Nevada is dwindling, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama winning the support of 48 percent of Silver State voters, compared with 42 percent who prefer Romney. Obama’s lead is slightly down from the 8-point advantage he held in PPP’s previous survey of Nevada in late March and much smaller than his 12-point margin of victory in the state in 2008.
“Barack Obama’s still a clear favorite to win Nevada this fall,” writes Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But he’s not nearly as strong there as he was in 2008.”
Obama has maintained solid footing in Nevada despite the state’s beleaguered economy. With the nation’s highest unemployment rate and a staggering rate of home foreclosures, Nevada has absorbed the lion’s share of the recession — ostensibly giving Romney and the Republicans an advantage in a campaign that figures to be decided largely on the economy.
But Obama continues to poll well in Nevada. The president’s approval rating of 49 percent in PPP’s latest survey represents a negligible dip from the March poll, but it still puts him above water. Romney, meanwhile, remains hamstrung by a personal likability problem, with 53 percent of Nevada voters saying they view the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably.
Nevertheless, the economy looms large. A plurality of the state’s voters — 41 percent — say the economy has gotten worse since Obama took office in January of 2009, compared with 37 percent who believe it has improved.
PPP surveyed 500 Nevada voters from June 7 to 10. The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.