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Poll: Clinton pulling away from Trump in Nevada

Hillary Clinton is pulling away from Donald Trump in Nevada with early voting underway, according to a poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has a 7-point lead over GOP nominee Donald Trump, 48 percent to 41 percent.

Libertarian Gary Johnson has 6 percent support. Four percent of voters are undecided and 1 percent support someone else or no candidate.

The poll, conducted by Bendixen &Amandi International, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The firm interviewed 800 likely voters after Clinton and Trump squared off in Las Vegas Wednesday in the third and final presidential debate. The interviews were conducted between Thursday and Sunday in English and Spanish.

The poll shows growing momentum for Clinton’s campaign. In a late September Review-Journal poll of voters, Clinton had a 1-point lead over Trump. In that initial poll, Clinton had 45 percent of support, while Trump had 44 percent, putting the race within the margin of error.

Since the September poll, Trump’s campaign has faced fallout from a Washington Post report, complete with a videotape, that showed him engaging in a lewd conversation in 2005 about groping women.

Trump initially called the conversation “locker-room banter” and subsequently apologized. Since the tape’s release, women have come forward with allegations that Trump made inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances toward them. Trump has denied all the allegations.

“The debates helped Hillary Clinton,” said Fernand Amandi, principal at Bendixen &Amandi International. “She’s now opened up a significant lead over Donald Trump in a race that was a statistical tie. She’s clearly benefiting from her performance in the debates as voters in the final stretch take one, final look.”

FAVORABILITY NUMBERS CHANGE

In addition to the debates, there’s also the backlash Trump has faced from the tape of his 2005 conversation, while Clinton’s campaign has weathered WikiLeaks revelations, he said, referencing the release of hacked emails that have detailed some of the inner workings of Clinton’s campaign.

Trump’s favorability has taken a hit, too. Thirty-eight percent of surveyed voters had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Trump, down from 42 percent in September. Meanwhile, 59 percent had a somewhat or very unfavorable opinion of Trump, an increase from 56 percent in September.

Clinton’s favorability ratings have trended upward. Fifty percent of voters had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Clinton, up from 48 percent in September. Forty-eight percent had a somewhat or very unfavorable opinion, a decrease from 51 percent in September.

In Nevada, Trump’s favorability is lowest in Clark County, where about 70 percent of the state’s population lives. Thirty-two percent of Clark County voters had a favorable opinion of him and 64 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Elsewhere in Nevada, it’s a different story. Fifty-one percent of Nevada voters surveyed outside Clark County have a favorable opinion of Trump, and 47 percent have an unfavorable opinion.

For Clinton, her strength is in Clark County, where 58 percent of voters surveyed had a favorable opinion and 41 percent were unfavorable. In the rest of Nevada, just 33 percent of voters surveyed had a favorable opinion of Clinton and 64 percent of voters indicated an unfavorable opinion.

Support for the two candidates also varies widely among voters 65 and older. For Trump, 51 percent of older voters have a favorable opinion of him, with 46 percent unfavorable. For Clinton, 41 percent of older voters have a favorable opinion and 58 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion.

Clinton has the support of a majority of voters surveyed in all other age groups. Trump’s favorability lags in those same age groups, with 25 percent support among voters from 18 to 34 years old; 35 percent support among voters 35 to 49 years old; and 37 percent support among 50- to 64-year-old voters.

NEVADANS SPEAK OUT

Jonathan Tolley of Las Vegas is an undecided voter. The 20-year-old sells tickets for shows on the Strip and has issues with both candidates.

Trump would cause gridlock and he has trouble trusting Clinton, he said, adding he had originally supported U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who was seeking the Democratic nomination.

“It’s kind of an understatement to be somewhat somewhat disappointed in the candidates,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that I’m any less excited to vote. It doesn’t mean that I’m any less involved politically. If anything, this election, and the ridiculousness, will probably make me more involved.”

Michelle Karony, a legal assistant from Las Vegas, is backing Clinton.

She said Clinton has the right experience for the job, pointing particularly to her foreign policy and national security experience as secretary of state. Clinton will also aid equality for women, including equal pay, she said.

Howard Taylor, a 61-year-old semi-retired trucker and general contractor from Sparks, said he has decided “who I’m not going to support — Hillary.” Taylor said he considers Clinton “untrustworthy,” and is backing Trump.

“I like the fact that he’s a businessman and he’s, contrary to what everybody says, he’s very honest in his statements,” Taylor said.

Joe Ellis, a 25-year-old Realtor in North Las Vegas, is supporting the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. Ellis said Johnson’s appeal is Johnson believes government should have a “lowly role” and be “fiscally conservative.”

Bendixen &Amandi International, based in Miami, has done projects for clients including The Washington Post, Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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