Under no circumstance can the eventual Republican presidential nominee lose North Carolina and still win the White House. At this juncture, the Republican presidential field has yet to seal the deal in the Tar Heel State. Public Policy Polling (PPP) has more:
North Carolina continues to look like a toss up for 2012, with Barack Obama unpopular but none of his prospective Republican opponents setting the world on fire either.
45% of voters in the state approve of Obama with 50% disapproving, numbers pretty much in line with where he’s been for the last 3 months. Obama’s big issue continues to be with independents, only 38% of whom think he’s doing a good job to 56% who give him poor marks. He’s been consistently right around the 80% mark with Democrats (78/16 this month) and favor from Republicans is still virtually nonexistent (6/91).
Despite his weak approval numbers Obama trails only one Republican for reelection in the state, Mitt Romney, and even then it’s just a 1 point margin at 46-45. That represents a simple flip from last month’s poll when Obama led Romney 46-45. We’ve been polling these guys head to head every month for a year now and their head to head has continuously been in the margin of error.
Month after month after month we find this same basic picture of North Carolina being up for grabs in 2012. It’s not exactly breaking news that it’s now a swing state. What’s more significant though is where on the spectrum of swing states North Carolina finds itself now. Obama’s approval numbers in North Carolina now are better than they are in places like Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada, and Iowa, all states he won by wider margins than NC in 2008.