GOP poll shows Gov. Sandoval has high job approval rating

More than half of Nevada voters approve of the job Gov. Brian Sandoval is doing, according to a new survey by a Republican polling group.

The GOP leader enjoys majority approval in all 17 Nevada counties, as well, including the most populous Clark County, which leans Democratic.

The Tarrance Group, which conducted the poll, said the findings suggest Sandoval has bucked a trend among governors dealing with budget battles and sinking ratings.

"Governor Sandoval's reasoned approach to the budget has won support for his efforts that extend well beyond the traditional groups of voters that would be supportive of a Republican governor," said a polling memo released Tuesday with the results. "Solid majorities of both independent voters and Hispanic voters indicate that they approve of the job that he is doing, as do a majority of self-described conservative Democratic voters in Nevada."

Sandoval, the state's first Latino governor, ran in 2010 on a pledge not to raise taxes. He angered conservative Republicans when he broke his promise by extending for two years $600 million in taxes that had been scheduled to sunset this year. He said a Nevada Supreme Court ruling forced his hand when it called into question about $600 million in funding the state had planned to use from local governments and other funds. Sandoval's $6.2 billion budget compromise with the Democratic-led Nevada Legislature in June largely drew praise in the end.

According to the poll, 53 percent of likely Nevada voters approve of the job Sandoval is doing and 29 percent disapprove.

The telephone survey of 501 likely registered voters statewide was conducted July 12-13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

Here's the approval/disapproval breakdown by region, sex, ethnicity and political affiliation:

-- Clark County -- 51 percent/30 percent

-- Washoe County -- 59/27

-- Carson/Douglas -- 57/27

-- Rural Nevada -- 58/27

-- Men -- 54/28

-- Women -- 53/30

-- Hispanic -- 51/26

-- Republicans - 73/10

-- Independents - 53/26

-- Democrats -- 37/46