Poll: Asian-Americans in Nevada back Obama over Romney, but gap narrowing

A new poll shows President Barack Obama overwhelmingly winning the Asian-American vote in Nevada over GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, 54 percent to 29 percent.

But the survey released Tuesday also shows Obama has lost ground among Asian-Americans in the Silver State since 2008, when he won 63 percent of their vote here compared with 19 percent for Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

"That does suggest a little bit of movement toward the Republican," said pollster David Mermin. "Having said that … on balance, it is still a pretty big plus" for Obama.

The poll of registered Asian-American voters was conducted April 5-15 by Lake Research Partners for APIA Vote, a nonpartisan group concerned with the Asian & Pacific Islander American vote.
It surveyed by telephone 713 Asian-American voters nationwide, including 112 in Nevada. The margin of error for the Nevada sample was 9.3 percentage points and 3.7 percent for the full poll.

Overall, Asian-American voters in Nevada "tend to be more critical of Obama and more supportive of Romney" than Asian-American voters nationwide, the pollsters found. As example, while Obama leads Romney 54-29 in Nevada, the president leads Romney 59 percent to 13 percent among Asian-American voters nationwide, Mermin said.

Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 11.6 percent and the rate is a bit higher for Asian-Americans, according to the pollsters.

Other findings in the poll show Asian-American voters in Nevada are:

• More likely to rate Obama’s job performance as poor (20 percent) than Asian-Americans nationwide (12 percent).

• View Obama slightly less favorably (68 percent) than nationwide (73 percent).

• View the Democratic Party slightly less favorably than nationally, 58 percent to 65 percent.

• Identify with the Republican Party more than nationally, 24 percent to 16 percent.• Rate the economy as "just fair" or "poor" (a total 78 percent) rather than "excellent" or "good" (19 percent).

• Favor a generic Democratic congressional candidate (45 percent) over a generic Republican (23 percent)

• Favor Democrats over Republicans on every issue, from "standing up for the middle class" to "jobs and the economy."

More than half of Asian-American voters in Nevada (52 percent) said they’re more enthusiastic to vote this year than in the past, according to the pollsters.

Mermin, the pollster, said if the Asian-American voter turnout is the same in Nevada as it was in 2008, the survey suggests Obama could have a 9,000-vote advantage over Romney among the group. (In 2008, 35,000 Asian-Americans voted in the Nevada presidential election, or about 3.6 percent of the total 970,000 voters.)

"That could be enough to swing the election, but one in six is still undecided," Mermin said in a briefing with reporters.

For raw data from Nevada and other states, click here.


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