Civitas has conducted a new survey of their home state, North Carolina, contemplating a Rick Perry–Barack Obama matchup:
Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads Barack Obama 45 percent to 42 percent among North Carolina voters in a potential presidential matchup, according to a new poll released by the Civitas Institute.
Forty-five percent of voters said they are leaning towards or would vote for Gov. Rick Perry if the election for President of the United States was being held today and the candidates were Perry, the Republican, and Barack Obama, the Democrat. Forty-two percent said they are leaning towards or would vote for Obama, and 9 percent said they are undecided.
“For the President to be trailing an unannounced candidate in a state he barely won in 2012 has to be concerning for the Obama team,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “If Obama is hoping to catch lightning again and win North Carolina, he is going to have to hope for a weaker opponent than Gov. Perry or a big bounce from having the Democratic National Convention here next year.”
Republican (81 percent Perry — 8 percent Obama) and Democratic voter (17 percent Perry — 69 percent Obama) support falls along party lines between the potential candidates. Unaffiliated voters, the fastest growing voter segment in the state, would choose Perry over Obama by a 53 percent to 32 percent margin.
Interestingly, this is a poll of registered voters, not likely voters.
UPDATE: A fellow poll-watcher writes in, pointing out that “for purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008,” and arguing that those limits make this effectively a poll of likely voters. I’ll agree to a certain point; it’s a fairly broad definition, and I’d be a bit wary about automatically including those newly registered, as young voters are the least reliable to turn out. Turnout was 51.1 percent in 2008, widely hailed as a momentous year for young voters.