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NC: Obama 46, McCain 46 (PPP-9/17-19)

Topics: PHome

Public Policy Polling (D)
9/17-19/08; 1,060 LV, 3%
Mode: IVR

North Carolina
Obama 46, McCain 46, Barr 5
(9/9: McCain 48, Obama 44, Barr 4)

Sen:
Hagan 46, Dole 41, Cole 6
(9/9: Hagan 43, Dole 42, Cole 6)

 

Comments
brambster:

Regardless of whether or not this is an outlier poll, the movement in one week on both tickets on a large LV sample confirms a national trend that is showing up in NC.

Dole may well fall on her face. I don't get that there is much love for her, and a younger Hagan is clearly punching hard (and harder than a man can in this case). I've always though that Dole comes off as overly fake, and she had a disastrous appearance on Meet the Press in 2006 talking about the mid-term elections.

If Dole implodes, that could well help Obama. Hagan running strong also of course helps Obama. I wouldn't however give Obama the lead, nor Hagan.

I think the red herring here is the Cole and Barr vote. NC has polled as one of the strongest states for Barr, and for any senatorial candidate. Although Cole has been increasing in support, Much of this will disappear on election day if the race is close, and the same thing will happen with Barr's support, so I see much of the Barr/Cole vote going to McCain/Dole on election day, and that's why this race is probably still an uphill battle for both Obama and Hagan.

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Monte from PA:

OMG this state has to turn yellow now Obama is closing in. By the way turn Lousiana yellow while you are at it it is trending to be a tossup state. Florida should be yellow and Michigan should be blue. Pennyslvania will go blue this year because the winner of PA usually carries philly county and I live in philly. I have seen thousands of Obama signs and 1 McSame sign. Blowout for Obama

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NW Patrick:

WOW. 1000 + sample too. VERY interesting:)

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fed:

Seems like Barr could be a spoiler for republicans in N.C. Very interesting poll

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RaleighNC:

The Obama camp internals must show something similar. They are advertising like mad men on TV here in the Raleigh market.

However, I can assure you Obama is not ahead by 17 in the 919 area code (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill). He is most likely ahead in this area thanks to the liberals in Durham and Chapel Hill, but it's not by 17.

Elizabeth's Dole's ads have been very odd, at least to me. She needs to come out with some ads where she is personally speaking to the camera as well as calling Kay Hagan out on her lies.

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Matt from Oregon:

Wow, NC is definitely in play and is probably like Michigan for the Democrats. I can't see this ever turning blue, just as I can't see Michigan turning red. But this will force McCain to dedicate more resources here than he'd like. The African-American community and the base here I am sure is fired us as evidenced in the primaries. Keep an eye on this.

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fed:

I read somewhere that African American turnout in the 2004 elections was 26% according to exit polls. Why do pollster normally poll between 19 and 21 percent AA in NC?

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sumd22:

Monte I hope you are right in PA but I am not sure. I went canvassing in Bucks Country today (came in from NYC) and still came across a LOT of undecided HRC voters. Seems that there were a lot of voters that could be won over but they seem to be waiting for some ambiguous thing to convince them. I hope Barack is mindful of that.

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brambster:

@fed

Good point. It was 26% AA in 2004, plus Bush was at 14% of the AA vote.

NC and VA are two states where AA turnout may have a big influence on the election. As we saw repeatedly in the Democratic primaries, Obama outperformed the polls in many states with large AA populations. VA showed 21% AA in the exit poll of 2004.

Likewise, I could see the Hispanic vote playing a pivotal role in states like NV, NM and CO. Hispanics have had terrible turnout in past elections. In 2004 it appears that Hispanic turnout was between 30% and 45% in these states. The Obama campaign would be well served by pushing hard for registration and voter education among the Hispanic populations of these states.

Florida is also an open question as it seems the Cuban population is moving more towards the Democrats and the White non-Hispanic population is only 61%.

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brambster:

@sumd22

In 2004, Kerry only won by 3% in Bucks County. I wouldn't make much of the fact that there are in fact swing voters in that county. Republicans have fared well in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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John:

Fed and Brambster:
The 2004 exit poll for North Corolina is widely regarded as flawed. I believe the correct number in 04 was 19% African-american. It was 19% in 2000 and african-americans make up 22% of the population. Hence the PPP number of 21% seems reasonable.

The Barr vote is interesting, McCain needs to appeal to both the 'conservative democrats' and to the libertarian Barr voters which is quite hard to do at the same time, although I still would be very suprised if McCain fails to win NC.

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thoughtful:

I am waiting for both Florida and North Carolina to go back to yellow.

This poll is in line with polling pre-convention.

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boomshak:

Lol, yep, I live here in Raleigh, NC and everywhere I go I see "VOTE BARR!" signs in the yard. Last night I even saw some hot babes handing out free cigarettes downtown with "VOTE BARR!" T-shirts on! In the clubs, patrons were spontaneously chanting "Barr, Barr, Barr, Barr..." as if in some ecstacy-induced trance of political euphoria.

Lol, as if.

C'mon, if you want to check the validity of this poll, just look at that rediculous 5% for Barr. I doubt that 5% of Corth Carolinians even know who Barr is.

Fail.

Next.

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tampa_analyst:

Obama Game Plan:

MI,PA,OH,IN,WI - Obama needs HRC and Bill working those states hard - white blue collar vote is a must. Message - look beyond race and vote your economic interests.

NV,CO,FL - Obama needs Richardson to court the Hispanic vote and tips those states to blue.

NH - small state but Obama can tip it to blue with some heavy ads and another visit or two.

All states - Obama needs to come across well in the debates and be on the offensive to expose McCain on policies which are NOT supported by the majority. Obama's race and funny name are holding him back - he should be up by 10 points. Obama must connect to whites that should be voting blue but so far are not according to the polls.

McCain game plan - No comment I am a Obama supporter if u have not figured that out yet.

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VermontWisdom:

The polls in NC have been all over the place, probably more so than in any other state. We've seen a 20 point McCain lead and now a tie. The truth is probably that McCain has a single digit lead after the economic tsunami and is vulnerable, but not likely to lose NC. Where McCain is critically vulnerable are red states that were much closer in '04 than NC: VA, IA, NM, FL, OH, CO, NV. The thought that blue states that are close like MI, PA, WI, NH and MN will go red is a chimera. Look at the margin Kerry and Gore ( Gore actually lost NH) won those states by and Obama's current poll numbers. He is actually outpacing them at this point.

This is an election that is being battled on vulnerable red state territory. Can McCain hold enough of them? That is the question, because I doubt he can win a single blue state unless some totally unexpected development were to occur.

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Paul:

Before posters respond too quickly, I took a look at the cross-tabs and ran an analysis against the 2004 exit polls. This PPP poll underweights African Americans by 5%, underweights women by 4%, and overweights over age 65 by 5 points. Each of these factors would contribute additional polling strength to McCain. However, offsetting these three factors is party ID. Democrats are over-sampled by 10%, Republicans are under-sampled by 5% and Independents are under-sampled by 5%. Later today if time permits I will sum the relative contributions of each and run this NC-PPP poll against all four factors. However, based on what I see here, and before I extract the internal cross-tab data, it would appear that overall this poll would turn out McCain ahead if the people who turn out match 2004 ... the exact number I should know later.

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GboroNC:

This still seems way to close for NC. I can see Obama up 17 points in the triangle, but not the whole 919 area code as this poll suggests. Nor can I see him down only 4 in the 336 area code. Kerry did poorly in the state and still won the triangle by 10 points also Wake County has also been becoming more democratic. Bush carried it by 7 points in 2000 and only 2 in 2004. I can also see Durham and Chapel Hill going even more democratic because of the student and AA constituencies there. However, the 919 area code also covers the republican strongholds of Johnston, Franklin and Lee counties and there is no way with those counties included he would get 17 percent. In 336 Obama is only down 4 and that includes only 3 counties that were 50-50 in 2004 Guilford, Forsyth, and tiny Caswell county. These were the democrats best showings. It also includes some of the biggest Republican strongholds in the state Randolph, Davidson, Davie and Yadkin counties are all in this area code and were all 70+ for Bush. On top of that there are a lot more counties in this area code that were in the 60+ range for Bush. If this poll were correct it would mean Obama had a huge following in Guilford and Forsyth enough to offset most of the rest of this highly Republican area and while I live in Guilford and see it becoming more democratic I do not think it could offset the rest of the area code.

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GboroNC:

This still seems way to close for NC. I can see Obama up 17 points in the triangle, but not the whole 919 area code as this poll suggests. Nor can I see him down only 4 in the 336 area code. Kerry did poorly in the state and still won the triangle by 10 points also Wake County has also been becoming more democratic. Bush carried it by 7 points in 2000 and only 2 in 2004. I can also see Durham and Chapel Hill going even more democratic because of the student and AA constituencies there. However, the 919 area code also covers the republican strongholds of Johnston, Franklin and Lee counties and there is no way with those counties included he would get 17 percent. In 336 Obama is only down 4 and that includes only 3 counties that were 50-50 in 2004 Guilford, Forsyth, and tiny Caswell county. These were the democrats best showings. It also includes some of the biggest Republican strongholds in the state Randolph, Davidson, Davie and Yadkin counties are all in this area code and were all 70+ for Bush. On top of that there are a lot more counties in this area code that were in the 60+ range for Bush. If this poll were correct it would mean Obama had a huge following in Guilford and Forsyth enough to offset most of the rest of this highly Republican area and while I live in Guilford and see it becoming more democratic I do not think it could offset the rest of the area code.

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carl29:

I don't totally buy this poll. I mean 100%. But something is got to be happening on that state because the McCain campaign is beefing up their efforts with paid staff and more offices. Obama is also campaigning in North Carolina today. So, judging by the way both campaigns are behaving, I would suspect that in fact the race is closer than the McCain campaign would like it, especially at this time in the race.

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Timmeh:

@boomshak

So just because a poll has 5% for Barr, more than you believe it should be, it's a skewed poll? Man, these rants by partisan hack trolls just brighten my day. =)

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Mike_in_CA:

Timmeh: haha. didn't you now? boomshak is the resident decider of which polls are "right" and "wrong" and "outliers" and not. translation: Rasmussen polls are always right (except when he "thinks" Obama is leading by too much, then they are an outlier). and it goes on and on.

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Hope Reborn:

North Carolina is a state to watch for the Reversed Bradley Effect that was found in the Old South during the primaries, where Obama's eventual victory margin far outpaced his polling lead. The reason was very simple: black turnout shifted the compositions of the electorate as they went into vote, and Obama won that group by 95%+. In this poll, Obama is leading Blacks 90%. Also blacks are only 21%. On election day, I'd look for Blacks to number 26-28% and vote Obama 97%. In that instance, Obama will win North Carolina. One reason why he's in the state today.

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RaleighNC:

It should be noted that NC black voters are notoriously low-turnout voters.

GboroNC...I agree with your assessment. Also, anywhere from I-77 west is not good territory for Obama (even Buncombe County/Asheville). This area racked up huge margins for Hillary in the primary, and the mountain counties don't mind voting for democrats, but they will not vote for a liberal democrats on a national level. I think Charlotte metro (704) will be ground zero. Pat McCrory for Governor is a very attractive candidate and his coattails in that area should lift McCain to a win in NC...and maybe Elizabeth Dole as well.

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Paul:

As promised, here is the analysis of this NC-PPP poll as adjusted using the 2004 NC exit poll. Of course, this assumes the same demographic breakout as 2004. Pollsters and posters can argue the shifts that could occur, such as additional African Americans (in 2004 African American turnout was 26%).

Based on gender alone, the race in NC is tied.
Based on party ID alone, McCain is up 9 points.
Based on age alone, the race is tied.
Based on race alone, Obama is up 5 points.

The fact that party ID is so far off the 2004 exit poll (Democrats over-sampled by 10%) makes one wonder whether PPP is factoring in expected increases in Democratic registrations. However, the problem with that assumption is that African Americans are 5% under-weighted in this poll. Therefore I am concluding that white Democrats are oversampled, a percent of whom would prefer McCain.

Conclusion, we need additional polls with cross-tabs available for analysis. The overall numbers mean very little without the backup.

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dopper0189:

McCain seems to have this strategy. If NC, FL, or Indiana vote Dem we have laready lost. They seem to not be fighting as hard as they should. Obama seems to have just the opposite reaction to Mich and NH. The problem I see for McCain is he could be falling into the Gore 2000 trap. Of "heck even Dukakis won West Virginia", or heck "I'm from Tennesse".

That is a very high risk strategy on McCain behalf. If states don't feel like their getting love, it hurts your parties turnout. Truthfully how man people here though Bush in 2000 could win WV or TN 3 months out from the election? People may scoff at comunity organizing but Obama is really importing the Chicago registration/turnout machine to states with week(er) democratic parties.

The Obama strategy of using his larger wallet to go after a few dream large red states (VA,NC,GA) and a few small dream red states (MT,ND) then see what sticks (VA,MT) what and doesn't (GA,ND) looks to be working. NC seems to be on the bubble it's not VA or MT, but it's also not ND or GA.

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carl29:

@Paul: I agree with your analysis, except that I think that the Democratic turnout this time around will be greater than in 2004. Even here in Florida, the great majority of people who have registered to vote since the beginning of the year are registering Democrat in greater numbers than Republican, more than the double in fact.

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carl29:

No, I think that McCain is starting to care about North Carolina. There is a report out today about McCain increasing his presence in North Carolina with more paid staff and offices. Obviously they know that things are way to close to be taken by surprise with an avalanche of black and young voters coming out big for Obama. Remember that those are very unpredictable voters who fly under the radar. No one knows how many of them will show up at the polls. McCain campaign wisely thinks that better safe than sorry.

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GboroNC:

I agree about west of I-77 except for Asheville and Boone Both those areas went for Obama and Asheville especially since it was so close in 2004. Everywhere else seems likely to go for McCain. On the Other hand I am not as keen on Dole and McCrory chances mainly because of the eastern part of the state this, triangle and triad have been the basis of the democratic victories for the governors mansion all the way back to Hunt maybe further. I do not see that changing in this election. As for Dole I think she is in trouble. From what I can tell senate elections in this state are based on constituent service and Elizabeth Dole has not been very effective on that end. (I think that is the real message behind all and responsible for the success of the effectiveness ads). Constituent services are what would have more than likely cost Edwards his senate seat and why Helms had his for so long. Dole may win but because of her troubles with constituent service it will not be easy.

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Another Mike:

Paul, are you assuming the same party ID as in the 2004 exit polls? Although the degree of shift toward Democrats is much debated, there is universal agreement that Democrats have increased their party ID advantage in the last four years. Any poll that weights party ID based on the 2004 exit polls is likely to undercount Obama support.

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Bonzi77:

I'm an Obama supporter, but one thing that stood out to me was that Barr's name appeared first in the question, which I would think would lead to an oversampling of his support. Enough to alter the effects, I don't know, but it's something worth noting. Still, McCain is in trouble if he hasn't put North Carolina in the boat already.

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Snowspinner:

Regarding the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, the University infrastructure in Durham/Chapel Hill surely helps Obama there, but one ought also remember that Raleigh is 28% AA, and 7% Latino. The area is enormously well-educated, and a lot of high tech jobs are located there.

17% for Obama is more than achievable there - the whole key to NC, frankly, is running up his Research Triangle numbers.

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Snowspinner:

RaleighNC - Black voters are low turnout? 2004 had 26% of NC voters as African-American, compared to 22% of state-wide demographics. They're higher than average turnout.

Still - even if they're low, that's an opportunity for Obama, not a liability. If they were historically high, it would be hard to say what strategy he has to change the state. If they're historically low, the answer is easy - turn them out more.

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RaleighNC:

@Snowspinner...

I was watching some local discussion group here in Raleigh and it was stated that black voters are traditionally a low-turnout bloc. I wish I could remember who it was. I'm not going to disagree with what you said since it's perfectly logical.

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JFactor:

I know I've said that NC won't flip to Obama unless he wins by a landslide. Well, I still hold on to that. I just can't believe that Pennsylvania and North Carolina are just as close.
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http://www.internationalpoliticstoday.com

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syrupfaced:

Bad news for McCain here. If you adjust the sample, 76% white to 21% black, to the numbers from the CNN 2004 exit poll, which identified the electorate as 71% white and 26% black, the numbers change dramatically. In this election there is no doubt that black voters in NC will vote at least at the same number as 2004. In that case Obama has an 8-point (51.5/43.5) lead. I do acknowledge that exit polls are often quite flawed and that CNN may have overestimated black turnout. But given the nature of Obama's candidacy and his large registration efforts African-American turnout may indeed reach 26%. If that is the case, this poll should be bad news to any McCain/Palin supporter; maybe they will begin to invest some more resources there.

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