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Romney, Obama in dead heat in N.C.
Challenger, incumbent each polling 45 percent
 
Published Monday, October 29, 2012 1:06 pm
by Herbert L. White

An Elon University poll shows President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are locked in a tie in North Carolina.

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PHOTO/CURTIS WILSON
President Barack Obama, disembarking from Air Force One in Charlotte in September, is in a statiscal dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney according to an Elon University poll. The survey showed 45. 4 percent of  likely voters backing Obama compared to 45.3 percent for Romney.


Obama polled 45.4 percent to Romney’s 45.3 percent, with 5.1 percent undecided.


The survey of 1,238 live telephone interviews with likely voters by landline and cell phone was conducted Oct. 21-26 and has a 2.8 percent margin of error. The poll reveals a large advantage for Democrats in early voting and more enthusiasm for their candidates.


“Many have recently questioned North Carolina’s status as a battleground state,” survey authors Kenneth Fernandez and Jason Husser wrote in a summary. “The results of the latest … poll suggest that North Carolina is still very much in play.”


Romney leads among non-leaning independent voters by double digits, but Democrats have a voter registration registration advantage of about 800,000, which closes Obama’s deficit among unaffiliated voters. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, led Obama in Elon’s August poll from Elon by 4.2 percent. But Obama leads by 18 points among early voters, 1.5 million of which have already cast ballots, according to an analysis from George Washington University.


Romney leads Obama 48 percent to 43 percent among those who plan to vote on Election Day.


The Elon survey found an increase in enthusiasm across all demographic groups, especially those seen as key to Obama’s chances of winning in November. Seventy-four percent of likely voters said they were somewhat or very excited about the election, a 4 percent increase from August. That excitement was fairly even across men and women, across Democrats and Republicans, and across supporters of both candidates.


Young voters (18-30 years old) are much more likely to vote for Obama, while Romney leads among voters over 40. Black voters, who make up 21.5 of likely voters, are also more focused on the election, with 61 percent saying they are very excited as opposed to 50 percent in August. Obama is holding steady among African-Americans at 88 percent saying they have or will vote for the incumbent compared to 89 percent in the August survey.

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