The folks at Public Policy Polling recently released data from two fascinating polls of NC registered voters. Here are the seven major story lines as I read them:
1) Obama is going to be competitive in NC in 2012. Obama's approval numbers are higher than the favorability numbers for all of his major potential Republican opponents (see below). He either ties or beats all of them in potential match-ups.
2) Obama has an age problem. 57% of young (18-29) voters approve of his job performance, compared to 41% among people 45-65 and 43% among those above 65. As we all know, older people are more likely to vote than young people, and this gap is likely to be an issue for the Obama campaign.
3). Despite being members of different political parties, Hagan (D) and Burr (R) have identical job approval numbers (36% approve of each). Purple state, anyone?
4) Obama's tax deal was popular with North Carolinians. 51% of registered voters support it, compared to 35% who oppose it.
5) North Carolinians express greater support of Democrats than Republicans in the General Assembly (38-33), but are slightly more likely to believe that NC will be better off with a GOP majority in Raleigh (41% better off; 37% worse off). Obviously that one's confusing, but these numbers are very, very close. I see this as more evidence of a purple state.
6) Men have strong opinions on the Governor. Governor Purdue has approximately the same approval numbers among men and women (37% among women, 34% among men), but women are much more likely to say they're not sure.
7) Mike Easley is sliding towards John Edwards on the list of unpopular figures in NC. PPP shows that less than 1/5 of NC voters are favorable towards Mike Easley.