The race in Nevada is effectively tied between President Obama and Mitt Romney, according to a new Suffolk University/KSNV poll released on Thursday.
With just under a month until the election, 47 percent of those polled support Obama, while 45 percent support the Republican nominee, falling within the margin of error. Of those polled, 6 percent are still undecided. It is worth noting, however, that the poll did include independent Virgil Goode and Libertarian Gary Johnson, who each polled at 1 percent.
Following general trends across battleground states, the president is still seen more favorably among voters; this poll shows him at 50 percent—4 points higher than Romney. The president is also seen as stronger on the economy. When asked which candidate had a better plan to fix the economy, 45 percent of those polled sided with Obama and 42 percent said Romney.
Obama still struggles with an approval rating, sitting at 48 percent. The same number of respondents disapprove of his job performance.
David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, credited Romney’s debate performance last week for the uptick. Of those polled, 74 percent of debate-watchers polled thought Romney won the matchup, while only 19 percent said that Obama came out ahead.
The poll highlighted several important issues facing Nevada voters in this election, including immigration and entitlement reform. Of those polled, 64 percent support the Dream Act. Obama also comes out ahead on this issue; as 39 percent thought Obama was better on immigration—8 points higher than Romney.
Republicans attempted to highlight the party’s appeal to Latino voters during the GOP convention in August, showcasing several up-and-coming Hispanic politicians, such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. Republican leaders such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, however, have publicly recognized the party’s problems in reaching out to this demographic group.
Nevada voters also placed more trust on Democrats with regard to Medicare and Social Security, 46 percent to 36 percent. However, this does not translate to Obama’s signature health care law: 45 percent generally thought it was bad, 1 point higher than those who approve of it. Democrats have called Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s budget harmful to entitlements. In the debate, Romney pushed for a voucher-based Medicare system.
The poll was conducted with 500 registered Nevada voters between Oct. 6 and Oct. 9. The margin of error was 4.4 percentage points.