The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

A Tale of Two Polls in North Carolina


If you ask Public Policy Polling, Obama leads North Carolina by one percentage point, 49 percent to 48 percent.

(For those wondering about PPP’s sample in this state, note that in the most recent voter-registration statistics, about 43 percent of the Tar Heel State’s voters are registered Democrats, and only about 31 percent are registered Republicans. Of course, not every registered voter is equally likely to vote in November, and a lot of North Carolina’s Democrats are relatively conservative.)

If you ask Civitas, Romney’s up 10:

In the wake of the Republican National Convention, a Civitas Institute Flash Poll found that Republican candidate Mitt Romney took a 10 percentage-point lead over President Obama.

The Flash Poll of 500 registered North Carolina voters was taken Sept. 4-6 and had a margin of error of plus-minus 4.5 percent. Asked if the election for President were held today who they would vote for, 53 percent chose Romney and 43 percent chose Obama.

Fifty percent of the voters had a favorable opinion of Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts; 40 percent had an unfavorable opinion. The survey showed that 50 percent of those polled had an unfavorable opinion of Obama, while 42 percent had a favorable one.

“Any one poll is just a snapshot. What is important are the overall trends,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca. “Our regular polling will show whether this Flash Poll is an outlier, or a harbinger of a new trend in voter sentiment.”

Asked if their opinion of Romney changed after the convention, 39 percent of those responding to the Flash Poll said it got more favorable, and 33 percent said it grew more unfavorable. Those voters also said they had a favorable opinion of the GOP convention, 46 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable, and of the Republican Party in general, 45 percent to 40 percent.

Click here for crosstabs.

Interestingly, the PPP survey, which has Obama ahead, only has a D+13 split (47–34) while Civitas, which has Obama trailing considerably, has a D+15 split (45–30). PPP has Obama and Romney tied among independents (48 each); the previous week, PPP found Romney leading this demographic 51-40.

Civitas finds Romney winning independents 49 percent to 40 percent.

PPP finds 17 percent of North Carolina Democrats backing Romney; Civitas finds 28 percent of this demographic backing the GOP nominee.

If you’re wondering whether the Civitas survey included the Democratic Convention bump for Obama, it was conducted from September 4 through 6, the days of the convention.

Tags: North Carolina , Polling


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