In results sure to confuse/infuriate/thrill partisans, the fourth poll on Nevada released this week shows President Obama up by 2 points over Mitt Romney among likely voters and Sen. Dean Heller up 6 points over Rep. Shelley Berkley.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey -- I have posted the entire Nevada poll below -- also shows that among registered voters, Obama is up 7 and Heller is up 4. Registered voters can be more reliable in a presidential year when turnout is 80 percent-plus.
Compared to other polls released this week -- ones by POS, ARG and PPP -- the NBC poll has a much larger sample (984 likely, 1,308 registered) and the demographics actually seem to be very close to what they should be -- although the Hispanic sample may be slightly high (20 percent). The partisan and regional breakdowns are good.
Some of the key numbers:
Obama-Romney: 49-47 and 51-44
Heller-Berkley: 49-43, 48-44
Obama: 50-47, favorable/unfavorable
Romney: 45-48, favorable-unfavorable
Those favorabble/unfavorable numbers don't bode well for Romney, on one hand, but also suggest that even if some people don't like the GOP nominee, they still will vote against the president.
Some interesting information from the crosstabs, which are here:
Obama is up by only 7 in Clark County and Berkley tied in Clark County among likely voters? Those seem low for both of them. Obama is ahead by 11 in Clark among registered voters, which seems more reasonable. The Washoe numbers are odd -- Obama up by 12 among likely and 18 (!) among registered voters there. More in Washoe than in Clark? Not likely. Both seem high, and would seem to indicate the rurals are given too much weight, perhaps.
It also would seem Heller is up by more than 5 in Washoe (2 among registered voters) -- if he's not, that's trouble.
I know Democrats here fell pretty confident about where Obama is -- they think he is up more -- and less so about Berkley -- they think she is close but perhaps not ahead. So if you take the registered voter numbers here, they pretty much match what I have been hearing about the race from those who have seen data I trust.
But check out the numbers in detail for yourself in the pdf below.