Poll: Romney Leads GOP Field in Nevada

Poll: Romney Leads GOP Field in Nevada

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - October 24, 2011

Mitt Romney leads the Republican presidential field in the early voting state of Nevada by a double-digit margin, according to a new Magellan Strategies (R) poll conducted after last week's debate in Las Vegas.

Romney attracts 38 percent support from likely GOP caucus-goers, a 14-point increase since the Magellan Nevada poll released in early September. Businessman Herman Cain comes in second with 26 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich rounds out the top three with 16 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry's numbers have plummeted in the Silver State, as they have nationally and in other states. After leading in the last Magellan poll with 29 percent, Perry now sits behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 5 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann receives 2 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman round out the field with 1 percent each.

Romney leads his rivals by double digits among females, voters older than 65, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and Mormons. He holds a narrow two-point edge over Cain among male voters, but Cain has a two-point lead over Romney among Tea Party-affiliated voters.

While Romney leads the field overall, Cain attracts the strongest favorability rating. The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO receives a net positive rating of 50 percent. Romney earns a net of 44 percent and Gingrich receives a net of 37 percent. The remaining candidates receive negative ratings.

Romney won the Nevada caucuses in the last presidential cycle with 51 percent of the vote. Voters in the Silver State swung for Barack Obama in 2008 after backing George W. Bush in the previous election, and the state is considered a 2012 battleground. This past weekend, party officials agreed to move the caucuses to Feb. 4 after a standoff with New Hampshire over dates in January.

Magellan interviewed 637 likely GOP caucus-goers in Nevada from Oct. 19-20. The poll has a margin of error of 3.77 percentage points.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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