Joseph R. Biden Jr. has a steady lead over President Trump in Nevada, a state that was shaded blue in the recent election but that Mr. Trump hopes to overthrow, according to a New York Times / Siena College poll released Tuesday.
Mr. Biden, the Democratic nominee, leads Mr. Trump from 49% to 43% among likely Nevada voters, with 4% undecided or refusing to state a preference. The poll was taken after last week’s presidential debate, one of Mr. Trump’s last opportunities to change the course of the race.
The results are virtually unchanged from another Times / Siena poll in the state conducted this month after Mr Trump announced he tested positive for the coronavirus, which found Mr Biden was driving Mr. Trump from 48% to 42% of the likely voters.
Just a week before election day and little time for Mr. Trump to catch up, the results highlight the challenges he faces in various battlefield states that once seemed achievable, if not outright winnable, for a president. Republican in office. Polls also showed Mr. Trump was following Mr. Biden to neighboring Arizona, a state that has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1996.
Nevada has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which could be a wildcard in the election. There have so far been more than 96,000 cases in the state and more than 1,750 deaths, according to a New York Times database. The pandemic has hammered the state’s economy, which relies heavily on the tourism industry, pushing unemployment to one of the highest rates in the country; in September, it had risen to around 13%, disproportionately affecting Latinos and working-class union voters, who make up a large part of the Democratic Party base in the state.
Keep up with Election 2020
Some Democratic strategists are now bracing for the possibility that a significant number of potential Democratic voters will face more immediate concerns, including feeding their families, than voting.
Mr. Trump has continued to fight for Nevada, visiting the state twice since winning the Republican nomination for re-election; On Wednesday, he plans to hold a rally just across the border in Bullhead City, Arizona. In September, the Cook Political Report shifted its assessment of the Nevada race in Mr. Trump’s leadership from “probably Democrat” to “skinny Democrat.” “
But Mr Biden’s poll leadership points to the shifting dynamics of a consummate oscillating state that has taken on a Democratic lean. Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 by just over two percentage points, 10 points less than Barack Obama’s margin of victory in 2008. But in 2018, the state elected Jacky Rosen, a Democrat, who ousted outgoing Republican Senator Dean Heller; and Steve Sisolak as the first Democratic governor to rule Nevada since 1999.
Mr. Biden is supported by Hispanic voters, young voters and women, and trails Mr. Trump among white voters without a college degree, according to the survey. Among Hispanic voters, who make up about 20 percent of eligible voters in the state, Mr. Biden held a sizable lead over Mr. Trump, ranging from 59 percent to 30 percent.
And among voters over 65 – a key demographic in sun-rich Nevada – Mr. Biden had a slight advantage against Mr. Trump, with 51% support for the president’s 45%, reflecting Mr. Biden nationally among the crucial, traditionally right-leaning voting bloc.
The poll, which was conducted by telephone from Oct. 23 to 26 among 809 probable voters, had a margin of sampling error of about plus or minus four percentage points.
A strong dislike of Mr. Trump is helping to garner support for Mr. Biden. Forty-three percent of survey respondents said they had a very negative opinion of the president, including 55 percent of non-white voters. Just over half of all respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Mr Biden.
“I’d rather have anyone in the world except Trump as president,” said William Watts, 69, a retiree who lives in the northwestern part of Las Vegas. “In my personal opinion, Trump has been a con artist from day one. He’s a poor businessman. He’s been a marketer – he just knows how to market himself.
Lorenzo Creighton, 67, a half-retired Las Vegas former casino executive, said voting for Mr Biden was “one way to correct the problem – the experiment has gone badly – it‘s Donald Trump.”
“Joe Biden is a pretty solid artist,” said Mr. Creighton, an independent. “We know what his record is and we know what kind of person he is.”
But Christopher Love, 44, said he once voted for Mr Trump because “I like a person who just says what he thinks.”
Mr Love, chief executive and Republican, said he voted for Ms Clinton in 2016 because of his support for LGBTQ people. But he said he believed Mr. Trump supported same-sex marriage rights.
Survey results showed Nevada voters were roughly evenly split on how they perceived the candidates’ performance in Thursday’s second and final presidential debate, with 39% saying Mr Biden won, against 35% for Mr. Trump.
Officials began mailing ballots to all registered voters on September 24 in Nevada, where in 2016, nearly 70 percent of all votes were cast before election day. So far, 668,000 people have voted early, either by absent ballot or in person at polling stations.
Here are the cross tabs of the survey.