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