A new poll came out today from Public Policy Polling showing Mitt Romney as the only person who would be a real challenge to President Obama in Nevada. No other tentative Republican candidate for the 2012 election would be a competitive against Obama in the fight to secure Nevada’s 6 electoral votes (1 extra thanks to the 2010 census):
Barack Obama would easily take Nevada if he had to stand for reelection today…unless the Republicans nominated Mitt Romney. Obama has early double digit advantages against Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin in the state but has just a single point edge over Romney.
Nevada is one of the few swing states we’ve polled in the last couple months where more voters approve (50%) than disapprove (46%) of Obama. Like everywhere else in the country Democrats are largely happy with him and Republicans are most unhappy- what sets apart his numbers in Nevada is his popularity with independents, 55% of whom approve of him with 41% disapproving.
Independents in the state may like Obama but they like Romney even more, giving him a 58/28 favorability rating. That’s quite a contrast to how they feel about other the leading Republican contenders in the state. Huckabee’s favorability with them is 38/50, Palin’s is 28/61, and Gingrich actually occupies the basement in this state at 26/65.
Nevada isn’t the only state where Mitt Romney is the only real threat to Obama’s chances of winning that state. Obama has the same problem in Michigan where the former Massachusetts governor is the only person who poses a significant hurdle in capturing that state. That point is made clear in PPP’s reporting:
Even though Obama and Mitt Romney are closely tied in Nevada, the advantage goes to Mitt Romney. He won Nevada during the 2008 Presidential primaries (some have attributed his victory to the high volume of Mormon [LDS] voters). He made a whopping five stops to the Vegas area on his No Apology book tour back in March. He also gave a speech to the 2,500 members of the International Franchise Association in Las Vegas. Furthermore, Mitt endorsed a handful of Republican candidates in Nevada and came out to stump for them during the 2010 midterm elections. As a result, Mitt Romney has some serious name recognition in Nevada -enough to help him secure the vital swing state.
Of the battleground states where we’ve polled 2012 so far, Nevada has the biggest disparity in the GOP’s chances of winning depending on who their nominee is. The only other state where there was greater than a 5 point difference between how one Republican did and the rest of them was Michigan, where Romney came to within 4 points of Obama with Huckabee the next closest at 12 points.
Given that Governor Romney can put states like Nevada and Michigan into play for 2012 while other potential Republican candidates would lose by double digit margins, he really becomes an attractive candidate for Americans looking to put Obama in the unemployment line in 2012 — perhaps in Nevada, where the state has an unemployment rate of 14.3%, the highest unemployment rate in the United States.
The economy will be the most important issue of 2012, Americans will want a candiate who can stimulate the economy (not the government) and get Americans back to work again. The best man to do that is Mitt Romney; Mitt means business!
~ Jared A.