Is North Carolina the Last Swing State to Still be a Jump Ball? Every Vote Vital as Obama and Romney Build Mirror Coalitions

SurveyUSA Operations - 10/02/12 08:56 PM

In an election for President in North Carolina today, 10/02/12, three weeks till early voting and 5 weeks till ballots are counted, Barack Obama has a 49% to 47% advantage over Mitt Romney, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WRAL-TV in Raleigh. 5 months have gone by since SurveyUSA’s last poll of North Carolina for WRAL-TV, and in those 5 months, little has changed: the race was then, as it is now, too-close-to-call.

Romney leads among males, whites, Evangelicals, older voters, voters in greater Charlotte, voters in greater Greensboro, and middle-income voters.
Obama leads among women, blacks, younger voters, voters in greater Raleigh, college graduates and lower-income voters.
Republican and Democratic voters offset. Independents split. Moderates break for Obama.
Voters who plan to vote on Election Day favor Romney by 12 points. Voters who plan to vote early, in person, favor Obama by 20 points.
Black turnout here is 21%. If African Americans, who vote 7:1 for Obama, turn-out in smaller numbers, Obama will under-perform these poll numbers.

In the open-seat election for Governor of NC, Republican Pat McCrory defeats Democrat Walter Dalton 51% to 39% today. McCrory leads by 23 points among men, by 36 points among whites and by 20 points among Independents.

In the election for Lieutenant Governor, Republican Dan Forest edges Democrat Linda Coleman 46% to 43% today. Voters under age 50 vote Democratic. Voters age 50+ vote Republican. Independents break for the Republican. Forest has majority support in greater Greensboro and has plurality support in greater Charlotte and Southern NC. Coleman leads in greater Raleigh. The Lieutenant Governor’s seat is open; Dalton is running for Governor.

In the election for Superintendent of Public Instruction, incumbent Democrat June Atkinson defeats John Tedesco 47% to 41% today. Atkinson’s 16-point advantage among women overpowers Tedesco’s 5-point advantage among men. Atkinson leads in Raleigh and Southern NC. The contest is tied in Charlotte. Tedesco leads in Greensboro.

4 times over the past 7 months, SurveyUSA for WRAL-TV has asked NC voters whether North Carolina’s economy will, in 1 year, be stronger or weaker. Optimism has grown steadily over the 7 months. In March 2012, 34% said the economy would be stronger in 1 year. Today, 44% say the economy will be stronger in one year. By contrast, the number of voters who say the economy will be weaker in 1 year has steadily declined, from 19% seven months ago to 9% today.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 700 adults from the state of NC 09/29/12 through 10/01/12. Of the adults, 641 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 573 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before the 11/06/12 deadline. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (73% of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (27% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device. Cell-phone respondents vote dramatically more Democratic in North Carolina than do landline respondents. In the contest for President, Romney leads by 9 points among landline respondents. Obama leads by 30 points among cell-phone respondents. When the two groups are proportionally blended, Obama leads 49% to 47%, as SurveyUSA reports here. The same pattern holds true in the contests for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent.

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