The fastest growing class of voters in North Carolina is probably suburban independents, and their voting preferences provide a pretty good clue as to why Barack Obama and Kay Hagan are doing so well in the state- and why Bev Perdue is under performing.
This overwhelmingly middle aged swath of the electorate, focused mostly in the Triangle, Triad, and greater Charlotte supports Barack Obama 54-30 over John McCain. It supports Kay Hagan 49-19 over Elizabeth Dole. But it also supports Pat McCrory 39-37 over Bev Perdue.
Even as 58% of voters overall list the economy as their top issue, among these voters that figure increases to 68%. Why is Perdue faring so poorly? Perhaps because she's not talking enough about what she will do for the economy. Her attacks focus on stem cell research and vouchers, while her positive ad focuses on past accomplishments. The voters, and this group in particular, are dying to hear what candidates for office would do to turn things around. Her ability to provide a clear answer to that question may determine whether Perdue is successful this fall or not.
For what it's worth these voters also support Janet Cowell by a 35 point margin, Mary Fant Donnan by an 18 point margin, and Wayne Goodwin by 15 points.