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Election 2012: North Carolina Generic Presidential Ballot

North Carolina: Generic Republican 44%, Obama 42%

Friday, November 18, 2011

Barack Obama managed to win North Carolina’s Electoral College votes by less than a percentage point in 2008. That was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had won the state since 1976, and the Tar Heel State looks to be competitive once again.

New Rasmussen Reports polling data shows that a Generic Republican currently attracts support from 44% of Likely Voters in North Carolina, while President Obama picks up 42% of the vote. Four percent (4%) like another candidate in the race, and 10% are undecided.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Not surprisingly, there is a huge racial divide in the voting patterns. The Generic Republican wins white voters by a two-to-one margin, and Obama overwhelmingly carries African-Americans. The president also has a solid lead among the smaller number of other minority voters.

While slightly trailing a Generic Republican is not good news for the White House, it must be noted that the president typically runs behind a generic Republican candidate in national polls. However, he generally leads all named Republicans except Mitt Romney in early matchup polling. At the same time, most of those who remain undecided in those matchup polls disapprove of the president’s performance.

Just 46% of North Carolina voters approve of the way that the president is performing his job, while 52% disapprove. Those figures include 27% who Strongly Approve and 43% who Strongly Disapprove, giving the president an Approval Index rating of -16. Those numbers are broadly similar to Obama's national job approval ratings, confirming North Carolina’s role as a swing state for 2012. The importance of North Carolina to the White House was highlighted by the decision to select Charlotte as the site for the Democratic National Convention.

The president earns similar ratings in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio.

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The survey of 500 Likely Voters in North Carolina was derived from nightly presidential tracking poll surveys conducted October 19-November 17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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