Updated November 6, 2023 - 4:25 pm
Former President Donald Trump is ahead of President Joe Biden in five out of six battleground states one year before the 2024 general election — with his biggest lead in Nevada, according to a New York Times/Siena poll published Sunday.
The poll found that of the more than 600 registered Nevada voters surveyed, 52 percent said they would vote for Trump if the election were held today, while 41 percent said Biden.
In Nevada, the survey was conducted from Oct. 22 to Nov. 1.
The poll surveyed more than 3,500 registered voters throughout Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points for all the registered voters. In Nevada, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Other recent polls show Biden and Trump neck-and-neck in a potential rematch in the Silver State. One CNN poll, for instance, shows Biden and Trump in a dead heat at 46 percent to 45 percent, and a Morning Consult poll puts Biden 3 percentage points ahead of Trump, 46-43 percent.
A Republican presidential candidate winning Nevada would be unexpected in 2024, as not only have voters rejected Trump twice, albeit by tight margins, a GOP presidential candidate has not won since 2004, when George W. Bush received 50 percent of the vote in Nevada.
“Nevada is a competitive battleground state where elections are won on the margins. We were home to the closest Senate race in the country in 2022, and we expect 2024 to be just as hard fought,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Spokesperson Stephanie Justice in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Nevada Republican Party did not return requests for comment.
The New York Times’ latest poll provides not only an interesting snapshot of where the state’s registered voters stand on the top presidential candidates, but it also reveals their attitude toward the election, the issues they find important, and how Nevada’s large nonpartisan voting bloc could play a role in 2024.
Of the 611 Nevada respondents, 62 percent said they disapprove of the way Biden is handling his job, with 36 percent approving.
Just because the poll puts Trump ahead of Biden in Nevada, it does not mean Nevada voters like the former president. Fifty-four percent have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, while 44 percent have a favorable opinion, the poll found.
Among voters in Nevada who aren’t registered with either major party — who make up the largest voting bloc in Nevada — 58 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, and 59 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Biden.
The poll also asked about other potential match-ups, such as a Biden vs. DeSantis race (42 percent said they would vote for Biden vs. 43 percent for DeSantis), and a Biden vs. Nikki Haley race (38 percent vs. 44 percent).
The survey also revealed that Biden’s age could hinder his re-election. In Nevada, 74 percent of respondents agreed that Biden is too old to be an effective president, and 25 percent disagreed.
In response to The New York Times survey, David Axelrod, a political commentator and former chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, said on X that Biden’s age is his biggest liability, and raised the question of whether the 80-year-old president should drop out of the race.
Vice President Kamala Harris also did not fare well next to Trump in a potential 2024 election, with 48 percent of Nevada respondents picking Trump and 42 percent picking Harris.
On the issues
The poll also hit on what issues Nevadans care most about in this election. Sixty-three percent said economic issues like jobs, taxes or the cost of living; 26 percent said societal issues like guns, abortion or democracy; and 10 percent said both types of issues are equally important.
In Nevada, where voters approved a referendum in 1990 to protect abortion, that right to an abortion remains popular. Sixty-five percent of respondents said abortion should be legal, while 25 percent said it should be illegal. Respondents in the other battleground states also overwhelmingly said abortion should be legal.
The survey also revealed that while many Nevadans plan to vote in the 2024 election, they don’t think the outcome would make much of a difference.
Forty percent of Nevada respondents said they were almost certain they would vote in the 2024 presidential general election, 37 percent said very likely, 12 percent said somewhat likely, 3 percent said not very likely and 6 percent said not at all likely.
But when asked if Biden or Trump would be “good for America or bad for America,” many do not think it would make much of a difference either way. If Biden were to win the presidency, 46 percent of Nevadans don’t think it would make that much of a difference, and if Trump were to win, 37 percent don’t think it would make much of a difference.