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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs