Democrats Start Convention in North Carolina, Where Romney Leads

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 3, 2012   |   2:58PM   |   Charlotte, NC

Democrats begin their convention this week in North Carolina to nominate pro-abortion President Barack Obama to another four-year term, but the president is behind challenger Mitt Romney in the Tar Heel State.

As the convention gets underway, a new Elon University/Charlotte Observer/Raleigh News & Observer survey released today finds Romney has an advantage in a state Obama captured in 2008 and probably needs to win to retain his hold on the White House.

The survey shows Romney holds a 47%-43% advantage over Obama in North Carolina among likely voters in the survey that was conducted August 25-30, just before and during Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida.

From Elon University:

Self-identified Republicans show strong support for Romney (85 percent), with independents (40 percent) leaning in his direction. Conversely, with Obama, nearly a quarter of self-identified Democrats (23 percent) said they would vote for Romney. Thirty-four percent of independents said they would vote for Obama.

Romney’s strength among North Carolina Democrats in 2012 shows vestiges of the Reagan Democrats, many of whom were from the South.

Romney also carries more support from likely voters with annual incomes greater than $50,000, and the Republican nominee polls well among men; more than half (52 percent) say they will vote for him. Women are almost evenly split on their support for Obama (45 percent) and Romney (44 percent), while 50 percent of likely voters making less than $25,000 annually said they would vote for Obama.

More white voters (59 percent) said they plan to vote for Romney, while 32 percent said Obama. Eighty-nine percent of black voters will cast their votes for Obama, with only 8 percent of African-Americans saying they “don’t know” who they’ll support.

Respondents were asked which candidate they believed would do better handling certain issues.

Romney: 52 percent
Obama: 39 percent

Romney: 41 percent
Obama: 47 percent

Romney: 48 percent
Obama: 45 percent

“Likely voters who are concerned with certain issues are more likely to support Mitt Romney,” said Kenneth Fernandez, director of the Elon University Poll. “The survey found that those who identified the economy, immigration, the federal budget deficit, or same-sex marriage as the most important issues were more likely to say they were voting for Romney, while those who identified health care, education, and the environment as the most important issues were more likely to support Obama.”



Forty-three percent of likely voters say they are “very excited” for the fall election, and another 27 percent are “somewhat excited.” Of those who were very excited, more than half (51 percent) plan to vote for Romney. For those who said they “don’t know” how they feel about the election, 48 percent said they plan to vote for Obama, 18 percent for Romney, and 29 percent “don’t know” who they would support.

“The small but statistically significant advantage that Romney has over Obama may be due to the attention that Romney and the Republican Party received during the recent convention in Tampa,” Fernandez said. “But the survey also suggests that Obama’s slim margin of victory in the state in 2008 might be in jeopardy.”