The former Massachusetts governor, who won the 2008 Republican caucus in Nevada and has a strong base among native Mormons, trails Obama by 1 percentage point in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up. Other mentioned candidates trail the president by up to 13 percentage points in Nevada, results of the Public Policy Polling released Monday indicated.
Obama won Nevada by 12 percentage points in 2008.
While nipping Romney, 47 percent to 46 percent, Obama leads 51 percent to 41 percent against former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 51 percent to 40 percent against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 52 percent to 39 percent against 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the Raleigh, N.C., polling agency said.
"The story in Nevada right now is pretty simple," said Dean Debnam, president of Pew's Public Policy Polling. "If the Republicans nominate Mitt Romney it's a toss-up and if they don't Obama wins the state easily again like he did in 2008."
The survey results are based on polling of 932 Nevada voters from Jan. 3-5. The margin of error is 3.2 percentage points.