Barack Obama's position in North Carolina has weakened a little bit over the last month, although he continues to be in better shape in the state than he was throughout most of 2010. 47% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 48% who disapprove and he leads 3 out of 4 of his top potential Republican opponents in head to head match ups. A month ago he had slightly positive approval numbers at a 49/47 breakdown and led all 4 of the Republicans.
The one Republican who holds the slightest of advantages over Obama in North Carolina is Mike Huckabee, who leads the President 47-46. Huckabee is also the only one of the leading potential GOP contenders that voters in the state have on balance a positive opinion of. 43% rate him favorably to 34% with an unfavorable view. The rest are in net negative territory with Mitt Romney at 37/39, Newt Gingrich at 30/48, and Sarah Palin at 37/57.
Given their unpopularity it's no surprise that Obama continues to lead the rest of the Republican hopefuls in North Carolina. He's up 47-44 on Romney, 48-44 on Gingrich, and 51-41 on Palin.
Compared to a month ago Obama's dropped 5 points against Huckabee, who he led 49-45 last time and 2 points against Gingrich who he led 50-44 last time. His numbers against Romney remain unchanged and he's actually gained a point on Palin.
The main reason for his diminished standing when matched against Huckabee is that Obama now trails him by 5 points with independents, where a month ago the President actually held an 11 point advantage. That's consistent with a bit of downward turn in Obama's numbers with independents nationally, which had seen a spike in January in the wake of the Tucson shooting and the Republicans assuming control of Congress.
The big picture on Obama's numbers in North Carolina remains the same- he's certainly not going to run away with the state next year but he'll have about an even chance of taking it again and it should be very close once more.
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