Jan 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Focus groups: Nevada swing voters consider flipping back to Trump

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Half of Nevada swing voters in our latest Engagious/Sago focus groups said they'd back former President Trump in a general election against President Biden, citing dissatisfaction with the economy.

Why it matters: Interviews with Nevada swing voters who supported Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020 show that most feel the economy was better when the Republican front-runner was in the White House.

  • "The stock market is surging, unemployment is near historic lows, and the inflation rate has receded from its recent highs — but you wouldn't know it in talking to a dozen Trump-to-Biden swing voters in Nevada," said Engagious president Rich Thau, who moderated the groups.
  • Biden traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday to highlight his economic message, stressing that Trump was "the only president to be president for four years and lose jobs."

Zoom in: Axios sat in on two Engagious/Sago online groups Tuesday night with 12 Nevadans who voted for Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Five are Republicans, three are Democrats, and four are independents.

  • A focus group is not a statistically significant sample like a poll, but the responses show how some voters are thinking and talking about current events.
  • "Rentals have gone up, senior housing has gone up. People who have to sell their house or want to sell ... cannot do it right now unless they take a loss," said Cathy A.
  • "Everything is so expensive and families are barely surviving, and I just see a lot of people have issues with affording childcare, but yet then you go to work and you can't afford anything because the wages are so low and everything is just so expensive right now and it's a real big issue," said Nicole S.

The big picture: Many voters said for Biden to earn their vote, he will have to communicate his plan to improve the economy.

  • "I'd like to hear him talk a little bit more about the economy, about the Federal Reserve. Try to get the prices down and also the interest rates down," said Dustin D.

Between the lines: Some Nevada voters expressed disappointment with Biden for not providing a solution to undocumented immigration.

  • "Everybody should be allowed the possibility to come to the United States, but you have to follow a process. You can't just open the gates and let [people in], you just can't run a country like that," said Jana T.

The bottom line: Many participants expressed frustration with gridlock in Washington on a host of issues impacting their lives most.

  • And most of the voters said they aren't familiar enough with GOP presidential candidates such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to trust them to lead the country.
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