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January 24, 2015

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Nevada poll: President Obama benefiting from Republican infighting

WASHINGTON - The conventional wisdom in political circles is that Republicans’ protracted primary season will boost President Barack Obama’s reelection bid. In Nevada, that’s playing out starkly in the polls.

As recently as this January, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, showed the president in dire straits in the Silver State: His 12 point advantage from the 2008 primary was completely erased, leaving Obama neck-and-neck in a potential matchup with Mitt Romney.

Now, Obama is favored over the Republican nominee apparent -- even Ron Paul poses a bigger threat.

“Nevada really captures how the presidential race has shifted over the last five months,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement accompanying the poll. “Barack Obama’s more popular, Mitt Romney’s less popular, and this is looking like much less of a swing state.”

The poll shows Obama winning 51 percent to 43 percent in a potential match-up against Romney, and 49 percent to 42 percent in a match-up against Paul.

Obama’s favorability ratings among state residents also outpace any of the Republican candidates: 50 percent of Nevadans polled gave him a thumbs up on jobs performance, while 46 percent disapproved. Romney only pulled 38 percent positive rating, while 51 percent of voters said they had a negative impression of him. (Paul had only a 35 percent positive review, while 53 percent of voters had a negative opinion.)

The shift in the polling parallels two months in which the Republican primary process has grown increasingly negative: Now that the candidates no longer have to periodically share a debate stage, there’s little incentive to be nice on the stump or in campaign commercials. Democrats have exploited the infighting.

If the scales have swung to the Democrats’ favor, there’s little doubt Republicans will work to bring Romney back to the competitive position he enjoyed only a few weeks ago -- especially in Nevada, where he won the state caucus with over 50 percent of the vote.

But the poll suggests that won’t be easy.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is the most charismatic and popular public figure the Nevada Republicans have who isn't engaged in a tough race for office this November.

But even if Sandoval joined Romney on the ticket as his running mate -- a pairing that while it has been speculated on is looking less and less likely -- it wouldn’t do much to buoy Romney’s standing in Nevada: Sandoval only gets Romney two points, according to the PPP poll, for a 50-to-44 loss against Obama.

Of course, the numbers are only a snapshot in time. Now that the Republican primary season is wrapping up, Romney could begin to close the gap. And as far as the Obama campaign is concerned, they still have a lot of work to do to make sure he doesn’t.

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  1. Enjoyed the article, Ms. Demirjian.

    And I totally agree with your assessment about Governor Sandoval.

    I don't see him being picked by Romney for any kind of position with his efforts, let alone VP.

    Let's face it, Governor Sandoval is not charismatic. He sucks when it comes to appearing in front of a microphone and talking, let alone having cameras focused on his mug.

    Just because he is of Hispanic American descent don't amount to a hill of beans.

    He cannot and will not help any facet of Romney's hopes on becoming President of the United States.

    I mean, c'mon, the guy don't even show his face to people here in Nevada. How is he supposed to be of some beneficial value to Romney? It ain't gonna happen.

    Plus the fact he has absolutely no, zilch, nada, zero, nyet accomplishments of even the slightest importance here in Nevada. Well, other than to represent his employers: Jones Vargas. And he adequately represents them whenever someone wants to tax mining here in Nevada. Then he manages to jump forward on the stage and say no, no, hell no, we ain't taxing mining, mainly because he works for them, Governor of Nevada is only his sideline gig.

    I mean, c'mon, look at when he appeared outside the State House last year and bought donuts for protesters. It only lasted for five minutes. He got his pictures and his news sound bytes, then he ran back into the State House to safety away from pointed questions.

    I predict Romney will choose a candidate that's from the DEEEEEEEEEEP South to pander to those evangelical voters down there. They are more important than Sandoval is to his chances of being elected. Which, in my opinion, are slim to none.

    Romney, no matter who he chooses, is gonna get crushed. I know this is a fact here in Nevada.

    Especially with this GOoPer war on women. Women don't forget. It simmers. And it will hit the boiling point and explode in November 2012.

    The Tea/Republican Party is going to not only be crushed then, but relegated to total inferiority for at least two generations or so.

  2. But, BUT what about a Santorum / Bachmann Republican Ticket in 2012? COME ON Conservative Christians it's HALF-Time! America really needs to know how many Conservative Christians are still registered and voting!

    If the Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich supporters would just get behind Rick Santorum - they could turn this race around for Nevada Republicans!

  3. <<But, BUT what about a Santorum / Bachmann Republican Ticket in 2012?>>


    You can't be serious. Unless, of course, you are on Obama's side and will be happy with his re-election.

  4. chuck333

    Start paying attention!! Please start keeping up with the current news that is happening in the country. Things do not center around Nevada. Unemployment is DOWN across the country. It may not be by much, but it is DOWN. There is a rebound in the economy in a lot of States. Housing sales are up in quite a few areas. I repeat - things do not center around Nevada.