Obama, Romney dead even in N.C. poll

November 3, 2011 

North Carolina continues to remain competitive in the presidential contest, according to the latest poll.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by a 46-45 percent margin, which is within the margin of error, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm based in Raleigh. That is reversed from the previous month, when Obama led Romney 46-45, also within the margin of error.

Obama holds larger leads over the other prospective GOP candidates.

Forty-five percent of North Carolina voters approve of the job that Obama is doing, while 50 percent disapprove, which is about where he has been for the past three months. His biggest problem is with independents, where only 38 percent think he is doing a good job, and 56 percent give him poor marks.

Obama is being helped by the influx of newcomers into the state. Among self-identified Southerners, Romney is leading 48-44 percent. Among those who don't identify with that label, Obama is leading 50-43 percent, the survey found.

The survey of 615 voters was conducted Oct. 27-31 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

GOP targets McIntyre

A new television advertising campaign in North Carolina indicates that Republicans see an opportunity to use President Barack Obama's stimulus program against Democratic supporters.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is running a 30-second spot that criticizes Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre's vote in favor of the federal stimulus package, and asks how he would vote on Obama's latest jobs plan.

The ads, featuring a burning match, are running in Wilmington and the Raleigh area because the new 7th Congressional District stretches into Johnston County. The Wilmington Star-News reported that the two-week buy cost about $20,000 and follows a series of robocalls attacking McIntryre on spending and Medicare.

The script: "You know the old saying, 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.' Will Mike McIntyre fool you again? Last time President Obama pushed a wasteful stimulus plan, Mike McIntyre went along with it - and we got burned. The economy got worse. Now President Obama is pushing more wasteful stimulus spending. What will Mike McIntyre do? Tell Mike McIntyre: 'Don't burn us again.' "

McCrory 'under the radar'

In a list of competitive 2012 governor's races, North Carolina ranks No. 2, according to Politico, the online political website.

Here is author Dave Catanese's explanation: "Two public polls found Republican Pat McCrory with single-digit leads over Gov. Bev Perdue, who continues to hang tough despite a stubborn economy and strands of dissatisfaction within the Democratic base. The former Charlotte mayor also signaled he would delay his formal announcement until the beginning of next year, allowing him to float under the radar, raise money, and quietly cobble together support without facing the day-to-day scrutiny of a full-fledged candidate. If he can pull it off, it's a smart strategy for someone who wants this race to be a clean referendum on Perdue's first term."

North Carolina moved up one spot from the previous ranking and sits behind only Montana, where a term-limited governor is leaving a hotly contested open seat.

rchristensen@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4532

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