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Damon Political Report

Poll: Obama and Romney neck and neck in Nevada

Updated Thursday, May 31, 2012 | 11:15 a.m.

A new poll shows the Nevada electorate to be almost evenly divided between the two major candidates in both the presidential and U.S. Senate race.

In the survey of 1,040, registered voters, 46 percent said they support President Barack Obama, while 44 percent support his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. Only 10 percent of voters remain undecided in this key battleground state, according to the NBC/Marist poll released today.

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent

The numbers are similar in the U.S. Senate race, with 44 percent supporting Republican Sen. Dean Heller and 41 percent supporting his Democratic opponent. More voters are undecided in the Senate race, with 15 percent still trying to make up their minds.

In a state battered more harshly than any other by the recession and housing crisis, the vast majority of Nevada voters—78 percent—are most concerned with the economy, according to the poll.

And despite the headline-grabbing nature of the issue, few voters said gay marriage will help determine their vote.

Voters also are split on which candidate they believe is better positioned to handle the economy. An even 44 percent named Obama as the best candidate on economic issues. The same percentage named Romney.

By a 10 percent margin, more voters trust Obama with foreign policy than Romney. But they trust the Republican to better handle national debt.

Despite the state’s economic hardship, most voters see things getting better or staying about the same in the next year and believe that Obama inherited the nation’s economic problems rather than created them.

Nevada is one of nine battleground states expected to help determine the presidency this year. Both candidates have spent time campaigning in the state. Romney headlined a campaign rally on Tuesday and raised nearly $2 million from the Strip at a fundraiser hosted by Donald Trump.

Obama is expected to visit Las Vegas next Thursday.

UPDATE: Republicans are pushing back on the validity of the poll, saying it appears to over sample Clark County voters and Hispanic voters, both of which lean Democrat. Democrats, however, counter the poll under samples women and registered Democrats.

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