Barack Obama 51
John McCain 44
Bob Barr 2
Barack Obama is out to his largest lead yet in a PPP survey of North Carolina, and his remarkably strong standing with white voters in the state is the main reason.
In both 2000 and 2004 George W. Bush won about two thirds of white voters here, but Obama is holding John McCain to a 55-39 lead with that group, almost halving the margin by which the GOP won them in the last two elections. McCain will likely need to increase his lead with whites by at least ten points if he's going to win North Carolina.
Obama's gains are being fueled by very strong performances with two of the fastest growing voter blocs in the state: suburbanites and independent voters. He is up 56-38 in suburbia, where Bush won convincingly in 2004, and has expanded his lead with independents to 51-33. He is now leading or tied in every region of the state except the lily white Mountains, and he's made large gains there as well compared to recent Democratic performance.
Obama also continues to unify his party here. As recently as August he was receiving the votes of only 69% of Democratic voters but that figure is now up to 82%. If a Democratic candidate in North Carolina gets anywhere in the ballpark of the same level of support within his own party as the Republican one does he'll win, and Obama's 82% is not that divergent from the 88% of Republicans McCain is getting.
The economy continues to poll as the top issue for more than 60% of voters in the state, and with those folks Obama is up 62-35.
Today is the first time I've truly believed that if there is no major shift in McCain's direction nationally over the next two weeks, Barack Obama really will win North Carolina.
Full results here.