Local Politics

Poll: McCain Leads Democrats in N.C.

Posted March 24, 2008 10:59 a.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2008 3:52 p.m. EDT

— If the presidential election were held this week, Sen. John McCain would easily carry North Carolina, according to a poll released Monday.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 500 likely North Carolina voters last Thursday and found McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, holds commanding leads over the two Democratic candidates. The poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

McCain leads Sen. Hillary Clinton 50 to 34 percent, and he leads Sen. Barack Obama 51 to 42 percent, according to the poll.

In both match-ups, McCain is essentially even with either Clinton or Obama among women, but holds a large lead among men. The poll also shows that he enjoys more support from Republicans than either Clinton or Obama receive from Democrats.

McCain is viewed favorably by 62 percent of North Carolina voters, compared with 48 percent for Obama and 38 percent for Clinton, according to to the poll.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said the economy was the top issue in the presidential election, with 43 percent rating the economy as poor and almost three in four saying the national economic situation is getting worse.

Meanwhile, 51 percent of respondents said the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and two-fifths said the situation in Iraq would improve over the next six months.

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Rasmussen also did comparision polling of the front-runners in the North Carolina gubernatorial race.

The poll found that Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican, has closed the gap when matched with the leading Democratic candidates – Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and State Treasurer Richard Moore.

McCrory trails Perdue 45 to 42 percent and trails Moore 42 to 40 percent. In a similar poll in late January, McCrory was behind Perdue by 4 points and Moore by 5 points.

The other GOP candidate that Rasmussen asked about, State Sen. Fred Smith, trails Perdue 51 to 33 percent and Moore 45 to 34 percent.

A gender gap exists between McCrory and the two Democrats. Perdue and Moore hold sizable leads over him with women, but he holds a similar commanding lead with men, the poll found.

Meanwhile, Moore leads the pack among independent voters, with a 3-point lead over McCrory. Perdue trails McCrory by 3 points among unaffiliated voters, according to the poll.

Rasmussen Reports used its own judgment on which candidates to include in the poll. This judgment was informed by conversations with people in the state of North Carolina and a review of available data. While other candidates are running for the office of governor, including former Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr and Salisbury attorney Bill Graham, Rasmussen did not ask about their chances in this poll.