Nevada Moving Away From GOP Grasp

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Hundreds of volunteers are busily combing Nevada neighborhoods. Democrats have soared to a 100,000 voter registration advantage. Both presidential campaigns have spent millions of dollars.

But in the end, the number that matters most in the Silver State may be 22.

That's Republican President Bush's approval rating in Nevada, a state he won twice, but a battleground that seems to be moving away from the man who would be his party's successor.

After months of being locked in a dead heat, polls show Republican John McCain slipping further behind Democrat Barack Obama in Nevada.

An Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a 12-percentage point lead over McCain, the Democrat's widest lead yet. To make things worse for the Arizona senator, Democrats outpaced Republicans at the polls in early voting.

All indications are the shift is tied to increasing concerns about the faltering economy, an issue that plays in the Democrat's favor.

But the fact that a Democrat appears teetering on victory in the once resolutely red state has deeper roots. Experts place it in a foundation of frustration with a resoundingly unpopular president and by extension, his party.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-11-01-08 1653EDT