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Nevada Voters Want Slower Growth, Less Immigration

The population of Nevada has more than tripled in the past four decades, and most voters in the state support policies to limit growth and restrict immigration.

A new telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA finds that only 13% of Likely Nevada voters want their state’s population to continue to grow rapidly, while 40% want the population to grow more slowly. 

Twenty percent (20%) want the Nevada population to stay about the same size and 22% want the state’s population to become smaller. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-one percent (51%) want local and state governments in Nevada to make it more difficult for people to move to Nevada from other states by restricting development, while 60% favor reducing immigration.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of Nevada voters believe that, in trying to reduce population growth from illegal immigration, the government should mandate that all employers use the federal electronic E-Verify system to help ensure that they hire only legal workers for U.S. jobs. Only 18% oppose making E-Verify mandatory, while 11% are not sure.

Requiring the use of E-Verify is popular nationwide, with 69% of U.S. Likely Voters favoring it in the most recent Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index survey (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 869 Nevada Likely Voters was conducted on April 2-12, 2024 by Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Nevada has had the No. 1 fastest population growth since the 1980s. Eighty-one percent (81%) of the state’s voters are concerned that Nevada’s government will be able to ensure adequate water supplies for the expanding population, including 48% who are Very Concerned. Only 15% aren’t concerned that the state will be able to ensure water supplies for Nevada’s expanding population.

Nevada is the nation’s driest state; cities and towns compete with agriculture for water. Thirty-one percent (31%) of Nevada voters believe some water currently used to irrigate farmland should be diverted to support additional human population growth in the state, but a majority (51%) oppose diverting water from agricultural uses. Another 17% are not sure. 

Among other findings of the Rasmussen Reports/Numbers USA survey of Nevada voters:

– Forty-five percent (45%) approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance, including 25% who Strongly Approve. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove of Biden’s performance as president, including 44% who Strongly Disapprove.

– Sixty-nine percent (69%) support the federal government’s goal of protecting 30 percent of America’s land and waters from development by the year 2030, including 42% who Strongly Support the goal. Eighteen percent (18%) are opposed to the federal goal of protecting against development, while another 13% are not sure.

– Federal data show that Nevada has the highest rate of new development taking over natural habitat and farmland. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of the state’s voters believe Nevada still has enough habitat and farmland to continue that rate of rural loss, while 38% think it should slow down the loss dramatically and 20% say Nevada should try to stop the losses. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

– Sixty percent (60%) think that it is unethical to pave over and build on good cropland, while 21% believe that the need for more housing is a legitimate reason to eliminate cropland and 19% are not sure.

– Twenty-one percent (21%) say that a growing population should be supported by drawing more heavily on Nevada’s aquifers, but 64% are more worred that the state’s aquifers are already being over-pumped and depleted. Another 15% are not sure.

– Twenty-eight percent (28%) think urban populations should have priority for the remaining water in Nevada’s rivers, while 24% believe the priority should be the state’s agriculture, and 33% say the fish and wildlife that depend on the river habitats should have priority.

– A new study has concluded that Nevada’s fast population growth has been responsible for 83% of the habitat and farmland loss. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of the state’s voters believe continuing this level of population growth into the future would make Nevada worse, while just 13% think continued population growth would make Nevada better and 22% say it would not make the state much different.

– Forty-four percent (44%) favor dealing with population growth by changing zoning and other regulations to funnel more current and future residents into apartments and condo buildings instead of single-family houses with yards, but 46% oppose such changes.

– Only 14% favor paying higher property taxes to accommodate new residents in their community, while 74% oppose higher property taxes.

– Forty-eight percent (48%) favor limiting the number of new hook-ups to sewage lines and wastewater treatment plants as a way to control population growth in Nevada, while 32% are against such a proposal and 19% are undecided.

– In a three-way presidential matchup between Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Trump gets 43% of Nevada voters, Biden 43% and Kennedy nine percent (9%).

Instead of asking who voters want to win the presidential election, what happens when we ask who they think actually will win in November?

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to the public as well as to Platinum Members.

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The survey of 869 Nevada Likely Voters was conducted on April 2-12, 2024 by Rasmussen Reports and NumbersUSA. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

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