Thursday, August 28, 2008

North Carolina: few voters up for grabs

As the Presidential election moves into its final couple months, John McCain and Barack Obama will be fighting over a group of voters that comprises only a little over 18% of the electorate in North Carolina.

PPP's most recent poll found 8% of voters in the state undecided. We also asked voters who expressed a preference whether they were firmly committed to their choice, or if there was a chance they could change their minds sometime between now and the election. Only 11% of respondents said there was any chance they would vote for the other candidate.

What are the demographics of this small sliver of the electorate the campaigns will be spending millions to court in the coming weeks?

In terms of age and gender the persuadables are no different than the rest of the electorate, although they are a lot whiter (86%), not a surprise given that most black voters are firmly committed to supporting Barack Obama.

Fully half of them list the economy as their biggest issue, and a lot fewer of them list the War in Iraq or moral and family values as their top concern than voters do in the population at large. That's a pretty clear indication that these folks are less concerned about things external to their daily lives and most fixed on what the candidates can do to improve their every day situations.

Overall they have a Democratic lean. They support Bev Perdue by nine points and Kay Hagan by seven points, both margins greater than their total leads.

Given their profile they would seem to tend more toward Obama than McCain- but whether Obama can convince them in the coming months that he has the skills and experience to truly turn the economy around could be the determiner for if he can secure their votes.

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