Poll: Nuclear dump won’t influence vote for many Nevadans
August 26, 2008
LAS VEGAS – More than two in five Nevadans in a new poll say a presidential candidate’s stance on the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump would have no effect on their vote in November.
Half, or 50 percent, said they would support restrictions on water use to stretch the region’s shrinking supply in the face of studies suggesting that “climate change will likely lower … water supplies in Western states.” Thirty-one percent said they would oppose new restrictions on water use, while 19 percent were undecided.
The telephone survey of 400 likely Nevada voters was commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Fifty-eight percent of respondents statewide said they opposed the federal plan to entomb the nation’s nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Thirty-eight percent said the candidates’ stances on the Yucca Mountain issue would not sway their vote for president, while 23 percent said it would have a major influence on their vote. Another 32 percent said it would have no influence.
The poll, conducted Aug. 13-15 by Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
The Yucca Mountain question focused on a wedge issue between the candidates in Nevada. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, opposes the nuclear-repository project and has been running advertisements in Nevada highlighting presumptive Republican nominee John McCain’s support for it.
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In a similar poll in June, 45 percent of Nevada respondents said Yucca Mountain would have no influence on their vote for president; 14 percent said it would have a major impact; and 38 percent said the nuclear-waste project would have some influence.
On a related nuclear-power issue, 58 percent of the Nevadans polled supported increased uranium mining to expand nuclear power, with 29 percent opposed and 13 percent undecided.
The poll found 48 percent of Nevadans believe climate change is real, and 44 percent think it is unproven, while 57 percent said the benefits of taking action will be worth g to the phenomenon will be worth the economic costs.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said they thought efforts to address climate change would create new jobs in agriculture and alternative energy research and production.
Several recent scientific studies warn that climate change could reduce rainfall and snow accumulation in the Rocky Mountains, leading to longer and more severe droughts on the Colorado River. The Las Vegas area gets 90 percent of its water from the Lake Mead reservoir behind Hoover Dam on the river.