Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama expands NC lead

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow! These are awesome results. I have to say though, seems accurate beacuse when my friends and I voted early here in NC last week, a lot of white voters had Obama gear on. I was impressed.

Anonymous said...

Yee Haw!

Anonymous said...

One thing that makes me worried about NC's prospects for Obama is their weird law, that apparently straight-party votes don't count for the presidential slot. There will probably be a LOT of votes lost because someone votes straight-party Democrat, and thus thinks they don't need to vote Obama as well.

Anonymous said...

While I share some concern on the straight party thing, I noticed when I voted Friday that the poll workers were really emphasizing that straight party didn't count for President, judicial races, and referenda. I also thought the ballot made it pretty clear. So, while I know it will happen, hopefully almost all voters will recognize the need to hit the Presidental button separately.

It would probably help if the straight party button was on the second screen instead of on the same screen as the Presidential race.

Anonymous said...

It's great to have the lead when early voting begins.

As of this morning, over 340,000 North Carolinians have cast general election ballots, with the vast majority taking advantage of the state's early in-person absentee voting, dubbed "One Stop" by Tar Heels.

Over six million state residents are registered to vote in North Carolina, one of the nation's newest political battlegrounds.

Of 270,000 in-person voters since "One Stop" opened last Thursday, over 60% were registered Democrats, compared to only 20% Republicans. (The remainder: mostly unaffiliated voters, who make up about 20% of the state's electorate.)

Of the 66,000 civilians who have mailed in absentee ballots, Republicans have outnumbered Democrats by a margin of about 2-1.

Still, registered Democrats make up 55% of those who have already cast votes for the North Carolina general election, while registered Republicans account for less than one in three ballots already cast.

Anonymous said...

Here's a basic question- when do ballots cast during early voting actually get counted?

Anonymous said...

Folks sure did turn out this afternoon at Morehead Planetarium to cast early votes. It was about a 40-minute wait to cast mine -- really heartening to see so many people turning out! The line stretched down the curving staircase and out the front door.

The poll workers were great about explaining that straight ticket did not mean presidential vote as well.

I am worried about the voting machine glitches in West Virginia. Maybe you all heard about them, but up in Jackson County several voters reported that when they tried to cast their vote for Obama on the touchscreen, after initially marking the Obama box, the "voted for" marker shifted down to McCain. Scary.

thisniss said...

I've been out canvassing for Early Voting. Based on what I'm hearing, I remain convinced that (barring a *major* October Surprise) Obama will win NC. Also, all those James Taylor fans can't hurt.

Which brings me to my question: Tom, will you all start including an "early vote" question in your polling from this point forward, as you did in the primary? I hope so.

P.S. Not dissing James Taylor. I took my mom and my son, both of whom adore him. We had a beautiful night of inter-generational Obama love at Fetzer Field. :-) Also, David Price was there, and I love him.

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