Poll shows Yucca Mountain will be important to Nevada voters | NevadaAppeal.com

Poll shows Yucca Mountain will be important to Nevada voters

Associated Press

RENO – The prospect of burying high level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain is on the minds of Nevada voters, a new poll indicates.

According to the poll conducted by a Reno newspaper and KRNV-TV, 53 percent of likely Nevada voters said Yucca Mountain will be an important factor in deciding which presidential candidate they will vote for.

Nevada has become one of the most contested states in the presidential race, and both campaigns are focusing on the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

Among Democrats, 67 percent said Yucca Mountain is important, compared with 38 percent of Republicans.

The repository is also a significant issue for independent voters, 56 percent of whom agreed it will play an important role in their presidential decisions.

Maryland-based Research 2000 conducted the poll, interviewing 600 likely voters by telephone between Aug. 14 through Aug. 17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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With polls indicating President Bush and U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., are locked in a neck-and-neck race, both sides are searching for a key issue on which to persuade voters.

Although it is a convenient issue, some political analysts doubt Yucca Mountain will be the deciding factor.

“I still think that as we get closer to election time, Yucca Mountain falls down the list of the economy, the war in Iraq and this more nebulous leadership issue,” said Eric Herzik, a political analyst and professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

But that hasn’t kept both campaigns from spending money on it. Last week, both campaigns launched television commercials attacking the other candidate’s record on Yucca Mountain.