There are more North Carolinians now saying they are 'very worried' about the economy than there were a year ago. 56% of voters on our most recent poll expressed that sentiment, compared to 51% who voted in the November 2008 election.
Last year Democrats cleaned up with that group, with Barack Obama winning 54% of their votes, Bev Perdue getting 56%, and Kay Hagan getting 57%. It's a completely different story now with Obama getting a 28% approval rating from those voters, Perdue's at 16%, and Hagan's at 19%.
To some extent this is because of the power shift in Washington. Last year with Republicans in control of the White House Democrats were more likely to be 'very worried' about the economy and now with Obama as President it's the GOP voters who are more inclined to feel that way. Currently 78% of Republicans, 61% of independents, and 39% of Democrats say they are 'very worried.'
Nevertheless, if more than half of voters in North Carolina continue to be very worried about the economy at this time in ten months 2010 will be a very bad election year for Democrats in the state. Voters don't really care what the economists say about whether things are getting turned around- they need to feel it at the household level to believe it. If they do Democrats will probably hold serve, but if they don't it will be a different party in power getting the blame this time around.