Jim Williams, an analyst for PPP, told TPM that Obama has made large gains in Nevada since last October, when his firm found the president’s approval rating under water. In the same survey, Nevada voters viewed Romney favorably by a narrow margin. Williams said the candidates’ fortunes can both be tied to the state’s middle-of-the-road voters.
“Obama has improved his standing with independents since the fall, while Romney has dropped,” Williams said. “I think that’s due in large part to the long Republican primary, which put Romney in a very negative light, especially with independent voters and that’s been more pronounced in Nevada. Romney had some crossover appeal with independents and Democrats in Nevada, but that’s gone now.”
Hmmm, I wonder why? Could it be? Could it be Romney's record of vulture capitalism at Bain? Could it be "culture war" fatigue? Or could it be the "revolution" that's scaring even Republicans away from their own party? Honestly, I suspect it's all of the above!
Oh yes, and there's this.
Moreover, Nevada’s demographics —much like the entire Mountain West — are also conducive to Obama’s re-election hopes, with a population that is skewing younger and more Hispanic. The state is also home to several influential unions, which powered Obama’s win there in 2008 and helped Sen. Harry Reid (D) survive a competitive re-election fight in 2010. Those coalitions will likely prove more significant than Nevada’s large Mormon population, a group whose role in Romney’s landslide victory in the state’s Republican caucuses was amplified due to a relatively small voter turnout.
If several key voting groups ultimately help Obama overcome a weak economy and stagnant job market en route to a win in Nevada, the triumph will give the president more than just the six electoral votes at stake: It may point the way toward re-election, even without a sharp economic turnaround.
If there's "Mittmentum" building among the Beltway pundits, we're still not seeing it here. It's really a combination of the continued Nevada GOP clusterf*ck, continuing frustration with Romney and his pandering to the "tea party", and continuing demographic changes that make Nevada a tougher nut for the RNC to crack. Add in the strong Democratic Party organization here, and life just becomes even tougher for RNC operatives being "parachuted" into town. While OFA & Democrats still have no reason to grow complacent, there's also no reason to panic.