Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Obama competitive in North Carolina

North Carolinians narrowly approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President and as a result it appears he should once again be very competitive in the state in 2012. 48% of voters like the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. The key to his solid numbers this month is that he's on positive ground with independents at a 46/43 spread.

Voters in the state narrowly like Mike Huckabee, with 42% rating him favorably and 39% unfavorably. As a result he fights Obama to a draw at 45%. A plurality of voters have a negative opinion of all the rest of the Republican candidates and Obama leads each of them. Mitt Romney's favorability breaks down 32/41 and he trails Obama 42-44. Newt Gingrich's is 29/48 and his deficit against the President is 47-42. And Sarah Palin continues to be the weakest potential GOP candidate in the state at 37/57 with an 11 point deficit against Obama at 51-40.

The fact that Obama's even money or better to win North Carolina again while Democrats appear to be in dire shape in the Gubernatorial race speaks to how much things are changing in the state's politics. The last time the state went Democratic for President and Republican for Governor was 1896. The only times it elected Republican Governors in the 20th century it simultaneously voted for Republican Presidential candidates by margins of 40 points (in 1972), 24 points (in 1984), and 16 points (in 1988). But it looks entirely possible that the state will elect a GOP Governor next year without winning the Presidential contest at all, much less winning it in the sort of landslide that has previously allowed the party's Gubernatorial candidates to come along for the ride.

Full results here


RC said...

I don't know how much of an effect having the DNC convention in North Carolina will help Obama. The effect could baked in or he could have a post convention NC bounce. I think it will add a point or two to Obama's final margin.

I think the GOP holding their convention in Florida will have a similar positive effect for the eventual GOP nominee.

Start preparing now.

Anonymous said...

It's mostly the moderates and conservatives that are undecided at this point, so Obama'll probably need that convention boost.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"It's mostly the moderates and conservatives that are undecided at this point, so Obama'll probably need that convention boost."

Eau contraire. If you assign the undecideds proportionally to where each ideological group falls now, Huckabee would be up only 50-49.

Anonymous said...

Any chance we could see Rand Paul in an upcoming poll? After his comment that the only decision he has made is that he will not run against his father, it makes me wonder if his Ron is that serious about running or setting up Rand for 2012.

JTB said...

@ Dustin Igalls if the margin is as close as you say the swing could go either direction. I believe Huckabee will take NC.

Anonymous said...

Huckabee is not going to run...

Anonymous said...

Obama will win NC 51/49.

Jonny V said...

People must also remember that while everyone knows everything about Obama and people have been trying to destroy his reputation for years now... the average American doesn't know that much about Mike Huckabee (or Mitt Romney) ... there's a long way to fall. I do not think Huckabee's positive approval ratings will stand up to a general election campaign. He is way *way* too conservative on social issues.

There may have been a time when that would have helped him, but not in 2012. The country is getting more socially liberal every year.

Anonymous said...

NC is a prime state for Obama to target for the following reasons:

*Population growth
*High AA population
*Moderate state, overall
*Highly educated voters in Triangle
*Becoming a younger population
*DNC will boost him at least 2-3 points.

Go Obama!

Ranjit said...


One factor that you fail to take into account is "ENTHUSIASM GAP". In 2008, when obama won the state, college students were euphoric and worked overtime to call people 3 or 4 times and remind them to vote. Honestly, we all know that this is not going to happen in 2012. To be honest, so many of them are very depressed that they are not able to find jobs. Also, African Americans will not come out to vote with same numbers like 2008. The election will be decided by wake county

Anonymous said...

I can agree with you slightly, that the college aged voting block, will not vote in as high of volume, but it will still sway heavily towards Obama. People seem to forget, that NC is transforming into a more "Urban" state, and of course, that is where most of the voters are. As long as Obama can win in Forsyth/Guilford/Buncombe/Cumberland, he will win the state, assuming that he will obviously win Durham/Orange/Mecklenburg, by large margins. I can also agree, that it may come down to Wake in the end, but he should pull it off there by 10 points or so. IMO, the DNC will help boost new voter registration, which will add to the Democratic advantage that NC already has.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"One factor that you fail to take into account is "ENTHUSIASM GAP""

That term means a gap between the enthusiasm of the two parties. In 2008, Democrats were more enthusiastic than Republicans, and the reverse last year. 2012 will be more like 2008, and I'd expect pretty similar turnout from young people and definitely from African-Americans.

Obama will win Wake easily. It's not exactly a swing county. Marshall lost it to Burr, but that's not saying much.

Anonymous said...


It will probably actually come down to the margins, in Forsyth/Guilford? Wouldn't you think?

Thanks, for the good work!

Dopper said...

I know this is hard to believe, so I'll site my source NBC's Chuck Todd "How Obama won". But NC was the only state in the country where the share of the Black vote went down between 2004 and 2008. Black voters didn't turn out in the numbers that most people expected. Which is why Obama's win was so impressive. One can speculate if this was a result of AA remembering how Jesse Helms used race to beat an AA senate candidate who was up 10 point with a month to go. But in any event the black vote will most likely go up in NC unlike all the other 49 states.

Anonymous said...

Dopper, that's a shocking statistic because it's not true. In 2004, black voters were 19% of the electorate (about the same as they were in the midterms last year). In 2008, they were 23%. Could you quote exactly where Mr. Todd says this?

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