Obama rides high popularity numbers to 8-point lead over Romney in Nevada

{mosads}Obama flipped a 44 percent approval versus 53 percent disapproval rating in October to a 50 percent approval and 46 percent disapproval score in the poll released Wednesday. Much of that came from a 13-point uptick in approval within the crucial bloc of independent voters.

Romney, meanwhile, has seen substantial erosion in favorability. According to the survey, Romney’s net favorability has dropped 14 points over the same time period, and now more than half of Nevada voters see him negatively. Romney had benefited from crossover appeal with Democrats in the state, but that advantage seems to have faded during his hard-fought Republican primary that required him to stake out increasingly conservative positions. Among Democrats, Romney’s favorability dropped 9 points.

The numbers paint a troubling figure for Romney, for whom Nevada — with its high Mormon population and strong Tea Party base — represents an enticing opportunity for a pickup against Obama’s 2008 victories.

“Obama’s not out of the woods in Nevada. His numbers there are still weaker than in 2008, and Romney could certainly see some recovery once he’s the GOP nominee. But things are looking a lot better for the President there than they did over the course of 2011,” wrote PPP polling director Tom Jensen in a release accompanying the results.

One way Romney could gain favor is to consider adding popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to the GOP ticket. Still, Sandoval would only narrow Obama’s lead to 50-44 against Romney, the poll showed.


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