President Barack Obama leads in Public Policy Polling in the upper South

July 10, 2012


Obama holding serve in the upper South
President Barack Obama leads in both Virginia and North Carolina

Public Policy Polling

In 2008 Barack Obama put North Carolina and Virginia in the Democratic column for the first time in decades.
Obama has retaken a narrow lead in North Carolina a month after having ceded his edge over Mitt Romney for the first time since last October. In early June, PPP showed Romney with a two-point edge in the crucial Tar Heel State (48-46). But now Obama leads by one point (47-46) in a state he took by less than a point four years ago.
Meanwhile, Obama is up eight points in North Carolina’s northern neighbor Virginia (50-42). He topped Romney by an identical margin when PPP last polled the Old Dominion in April (51-43), and beat John McCain by only six points there.
This slight regression in Romney’s fortunes in North Carolina comes as the Obama campaign has hit the Republican candidate repeatedly over his tenure at Bain Capital. 40% of Tar Heel voters say what they know of Romney’s time there makes them feel more negatively about him, with only 29% saying it makes them more positive toward him. 27% say Romney’s Bain record makes no difference to them.
Obama does not have the same Dixiecrat problem in Virginia as in North Carolina, and Romney has tanked with independents in the horserace. Obama has a 92-4 lead with Virginia Democrats, identical to the figure three months ago. But Romney has receded from a 46-44 lead with independents to a 36-47 deficit. Independents are about a third of voters in Virginia, roughly equal to the size of the two major parties’ bases.
PPP surveyed 775 North Carolina voters and 647 Virginia voters from July 5th to 8th. The margin of error for the North Carolina survey is +/-3.5%, and +/-3.9% for the Virginia survey. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.

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