Economy is Key Concern for Nevada Voters

Mike O'Sullivan
The western state of Nevada, which has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, is a key battleground in this year's presidential election.  Both candidates -- Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney -- have made repeated stops in the state in the hopes of winning support on November 6.

President Obama hopes to carry Nevada.  So does Mitt Romney.  But experts say the state could swing either way.  

Nevada has been hit hard by home foreclosures, as many homeowners began defaulting on their mortgages in the 2008 recession.  The state has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country and the highest rate of unemployment, at nearly 12 percent.

Some voters, like 56-year-old Anthona McNeil, have lost their their homes and their jobs.  She found part-time work at a casino resort and receives help from Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.  McNeil stopped by the relief organization's office to pick up a check to help pay her rent.  “I was not able to afford the mortgage and that started my descent,” she explained.

Like millions of people around the country, McNeil already has voted.  Nevada opened its polls for early voting from October 20  through November 2.  Nevadans say the economy is the big issue in this election.  For many, health care also is a major concern.

Economy, top of list for voters

Senior citizen Linda Mendoza says she worries about a potential Romney victory. “I can't live if he gets into office because I won't be able to afford medical [care].  I'm over 65 [years of age].  I'm on Social Security," she stated. "And honestly, I don't know what's going to happen if he does get in.”

At at a campaign office in suburban Las Vegas, Democratic volunteers are trying to make sure that does not happen.

Romney supporters are also using the phones to get out their message.

At a recent Republican rally, Mitt Romney encouraged his supporters.

“We're seeing more and more enthusiasm, more and more support,” said Romney.

Governor Romney has faced the challenge of bringing together social conservatives and moderate Republicans who support business growth, says political scientist John Tuman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Part of the challenge for the Romney campaign is that the state Republican Party has been somewhat divided,” he said.

Both campaigns have used extensive advertising to build support within their parties and to persuade undecided voters.

Oil industry worker Alan Chamberlain looks to Romney to boost Nevada's economy. "There's only one guy that's supporting the development of oil and gas, and that's Mitt Romney,” he asserted.

Romney's Nevada communications director, Mason Harrison, says organization is the key to this election. “It's really going to all depend on getting out the vote and making sure that we get our supporters to the polls,” he said.

Part-time worker Anthona McNeil has a message for both candidates. “Whoever gets in, I pray that they consider people like me,” she added.

Like seemingly all Nevada voters, McNeil says she hopes the winner of this year's presidential election can help turn around the economy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs