We have five monthly polls now looking at Barack Obama's approval rating in North Carolina, and cumulatively they give a good a gauge of where he's popular and where he's not.
His best numbers by far, not surprisingly, are in the Triangle. 58% of voters there approve of his job performance while 37% disapprove. Generally speaking the more urban an area is the more popular the President is going to be there, and it was also the only region in the state where he won last fall, his margin there big enough to make up for narrow losses in most of the rest of the state. The Triangle was last year and will continue to be the key to Obama's success in North Carolina.
He's least popular in the Mountains, where only 47% approve of his performance so far with 45% disapproving. That area is pretty conservative, but there are also some simple demographic reasons for Obama's lack of support there- it has fewer African Americans and fewer young people than any other place in the state, and those tend to be the groups most supportive of him. Democrats may get frustrated with Heath Shuler's deviations from the party line, but these numbers help to explain it.
Other than the Triangle Obama is getting his best numbers in metro Charlotte and in northeastern North Carolina, where he has identical 54/39 ratings. He's at 52/41 in southeastern North Carolina, and gets his second lowest numbers in the Triad at 48/44.
Obama's political standing in North Carolina now really isn't any different than it was in November. Just over half of the population supports him- he hasn't built on his narrow victory at the polls last fall but he hasn't lost any of his support either. This may never be a 'safe' state for Obama but his standing here is a lot better than we would probably have guessed a year ago at this time.