One red flag for Barack Obama's prospects in North Carolina that came out of our poll this week was that only 69% of self identified Democrats in the state are committed to supporting him this fall.
In some states, like Ohio and Michigan, we've found that those Democrats fit the profile of Hillary Clinton supporters- middle aged white women. That's not the case in North Carolina though. It appears Obama's troubles are age old ones that Democratic candidates for federal office have had in North Carolina.
Only 27% of folks who participated in our poll were from eastern North Carolina. But 38% of the Democrats not for Obama were. The problem of white registered Democrats in the east voting Republican for President is a perpetual one that Obama's probably not going to be able to do anything about.
A lot of the Democrats not for Obama are also not for Kay Hagan. Elizabeth Dole has a 41-37 lead among them. But they are for Walter Dalton, Roy Cooper, Janet Cowell, Beth Wood, Elaine Marshall, and other Democrats. Just more evidence that this is the persistent problem of folks who identify as Democrats overall casting their ballot one way for who they send to Raleigh and another way for why they send to Washington.
While just 16% of the overall electorate is over the age of 65, 27% of the Democrats not for Obama in this poll are.
It's not racism. It's not Hillary. With these Democrats it's just the way they've voted for years. If Bill Clinton didn't flip enough of them to win the state Barack Obama's not going to, and that's why the key to victory for him here is not just record turnout from young and black voters, but obliterating past standards for voting participation from those groups.
It's a tall order- but Barack Obama has shown quite a propensity already this year for doing the unthinkable.