PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 48, representing a small shift in Obama's direction from a week and a half ago when Romney led 49-47. This now makes 27 out of 28 polls of the state PPP has conducted this cycle where the candidates have been within two points of each other.
Obama has built up a lead over the first week of the early voting period in the state. Among those who say they've already voted he's at 57% to 42% for Romney. Romney achieves the overall tie because of a 50/45 advantage among those yet to vote.
Obama's performance in the debate this week may be helping to pull him closer in the state. 50% of voters think he was the winner on Monday night to only 35% who think Romney was victorious, including a 51/21 spread among independents. He and Romney are now effectively tied among independent voters at 46/45, where Romney had a 54/40 advantage with them on our last poll.
Obama leads 53/43 among women, 88/11 with African Americans, and 58/40 with young voters. Romney is up 53/42 with men, 61/35 with whites, and 55/42 with seniors.
A key reason Obama remains competitive in North Carolina is that the Democratic base is extremely fired up. That's been reflected in the early voter turnout to date, and we also find that 77% of Democrats say they're 'very excited' to vote in the election this fall compared to 65% of Republicans. Among African Americans 83% say they're 'very excited' to cast their ballots.
Pat McCrory's expanded his lead in the Governor's race to 13 points. He's at 50% to 37% for Walter Dalton and 5% for Libertarian Barbara Howe. McCrory's favorability spread has improved to 53/32. He's up by 23 points with independents, 51/28, and he's winning over 22% of Democrats compared to Dalton's 6% of Republicans. Dalton does have a 49/44 lead among those who have already voted.
In the other Council of State races incumbents lead by varying margins- Democratic Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is up 45-36, Republican Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry is up 43-37, Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is ahead 43-38, and Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson leads 42-40.
The Republican controlled General Assembly has a 19% approval rating with 50% of voters disapproving of it and Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot 46-42.
Full results here