Economy is Key Concern for Nevada Voters

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora