NV & WI

Our “Big 10″ series continues today with presidential polls in two states that have gone through turmoil: Nevada (economic) and Wisconsin (political).

NEVADA

Nevada was chosen as our first poll to include a third-party candidate for President: Libertarian Gary Johnson. With many predicting a presidential race that will end in a photo finish, third-party candidates may certainly play an important role in deciding the eventual winner by siphoning off enough votes to count. We’ll include his name on state polls where he is documented to have qualified to be on the ballot. (He hasn’t been blessed for Wisconsin yet.) Hint to those who want to talk pollsters into including their candidate: the Johnson backers who contacted us were extraordinarily civil and reasoned in their request to include the Libertarian. That type of approach doesn’t work every time, but you have a much better chance of success if you keep the snark in check.

Nevada is a swing state in every sense of the term. In 2010–a good GOP year most places–Democrats won most statewide offices, but Republicans captured the Governor and Lt. Gov’s offices. While the GOP picked up some state House and Senate seats, they are still in the minority in the state legislature.

The Silver State has gone through some very hard economic times over the past few years with higher-than-average unemployment rates and a housing market that rolled craps. Bad times must produce discontent for the incumbent among the electorate, right? Not so much:

Poll type:: Automated Date: July 17-18, 2012 - Participants: 1,092 Likely Voters - Margin of Error: ± 2.95%
 
Obama
Romney
Johnson
Undecided
All voters49%43%2%6%
Republicans26%69%1%4%
Democrats85%11%1%3%
Independents37%49%4%10%

As with all our public polls, these topline (all voters) results have been weighted by 66 different criteria to arrive at the final figure (the weighting seldom moves the numbers by more than a point or two). We’ve included the crosstabs for self-described Party ID which we found intriguing. More than a quarter of Republicans said they would vote to re-elect the President–the highest total we’ve seen in any public or private state poll we’ve conducted. Yet, in this state that has been whacked by a wobbly economy and has a large Mormon population, Independents are leaning more toward Gov. Romney than most other states. It remains to be seen whether the four percent of Independents who said they were for the Libertarian candidate are a current protest statement or will  translate into an actual siphoning of votes to the frontrunners.

Wisconsin

Ah, the Badger State…one of our favorites. The hubbub brought on by Gov. Scott Walker’s election, controversial reforms, recall effort and subsequent re-election were fascinating political fodder. The surprising margin of Walker’s recall victory has many believing that Wisconsin is play for Mitt Romney, but the relatively late Primary Election here (August 14) has focused the attention of the political hoi polloi more on a hotly contest Republican Senate Primary featuring four candidates, including former Governor and  HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, state House Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, and  Eric Hovde, a wealthy businessman with ancestral political roots.

Will Walker’s surprising margin of victory and the intense interest in the GOP Senate race translate into a bump for Romney?

Poll type:: Automated Date: July 17-18, 2012 - Participants: 1,162 Likely Voters - Margin of Error: ± 2.93%
 
Obama
Romney
Undecided
All voters49%42%9%
Republicans15%79%6%
Democrats88%7%5%
Independents44%41%15%

Frankly, the Dairy State hasn’t budged much from our last poll there, although the Party ID numbers have shifted a bit. We’ll see after their Primary if the presidential race heats up.

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