Nevada Poll: Trump, Biden in Virtual Tie Among Likely Voters

In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020, left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020. Early polling in the general election face-off between Trump and Biden bears out a gap …
AP Photo, File

A Nevada poll shows President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the Democrat nominee, virtually tied among likely voters in the state.

The poll, conducted by Axios and the software company Tableau between September 24 and October 24, found that if the general election were held today, former Vice President Joe Biden would carry Nevada narrowly. In a head-to-head matchup, Biden only garners the support of 50 percent of likely voters, compared to 49 percent for Trump.

Biden’s narrow lead is within the margin of error. When the data is broken down, the closeness of the race becomes more apparent. While the former vice president dominates Trump among voters in the 18 to 34 age range, the contest is a tossup with voters in other age groups. Among Nevadans between the ages of 35 and 44, Biden holds a slight lead with 52 percent to Trump’s 48 percent.

Among voters in the 45 to 54 range, the margin is similar, but reversed. Voters in that age range, favor Trump to Biden by nearly five percentage points, 52 percent to 47 percent. Likewise, Trump leads Biden with Nevadans between the ages of 55 to 64 and those 65 years and older by 51 percent to 47 percent, respectively.

The poll comes as Republicans have made a concerted effort to narrow the voter registration advantage Democrats currently hold in Nevada.

In April, the GOP surprised many by registering more voters than Democrats for the first time in years. Overall, that month Republicans added 2,512 new voters to their rolls, compared to only 2,303 for Democrats, according to data from the Nevada secretary of state’s office. The trend continued in May when the GOP added a further 3,870 voters to its universe, while Democrats only added 2,354.

Even though Nevada’s overall voting population decreased in June, attributed to routine voter list maintenance in the state’s second-largest county, Republicans surged ahead of Democrats in the months following. Between the beginning of July and the end of August, the party added more than 18,000 voters to its rolls. Democrats, in comparison, only registered about 15,000 voters during the same period.

The GOP’s dominance has shown little sign of diminishing even as Democrats kick their general election efforts into gear. In September, Republicans registered 18,136 voters to only 15,059 for Democrats.

Despite the gains, Democrats still hold a registration advantage of nearly 88,000 active voters across Nevada. The figure, though, is not as daunting as first impressions might lead one to assume.

In 2016, Democrats held an even larger registration advantage, nearly 97,300 voters more, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton only carried the state marginally. During that race, Clinton received 47 percent to Trump’s 45 percent among Silver State voters, with her margin of victory being a narrow 27,000 votes out of nearly 1.1 million cast total. Clinton’s performance was nearly ten percentage points worse than that of former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Given the GOP’s success in voter registration, a number of Nevada-based political strategists and activists have begun sounding the alarm that Democrats should not take the state for granted this year. Such calls have been loudest from those on the left, who spent years working to turn Nevada from purple to blue.

“I am saying every day: We are more vulnerable than you think we are,” Annette Magnus, the executive director of the Nevada Battle Born Progress, told the New York Times in September. “We frankly need to fire up our base a little more, and we have so much work in front of us.”

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