Local Politics

WRAL News Poll: Obama Leads Clinton in Tar Heel State

Posted April 12, 2008 5:32 p.m. EDT
Updated April 13, 2008 9:06 a.m. EDT

— Barack Obama has a 23 percentage point lead over Hillary Clinton in the Tar Heel state, as both candidates prepare for the North Carolina Presidential Primary, according to a WRAL News poll released Saturday.

The telephone survey conduted by Rasmussen Reports showed Obama with 56 percent of the vote, while Clinton earned just 33 percent. A month ago, Obama’s lead was seven percentage points.

Both candidates have gained ground against Republican John McCain in the state, according to the survey. The same trend has been found in Pennsylvania.

Public perception of both Democrats has improved in the past month with 54 percent of Tar Heel voters viewing Obama as favorable. Clinton is viewed favorable by 43 percent of the state’s voters. The figures are a six-point gain for Obama and a five-point gain for Clinton since last month.

McCain’s favorable rating still tops both Democrats at 59 percent, a three-percentage-point drop over the past month.

Nationally, McCain leads both Democrats in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. His favorable ratings are a couple of points higher than either Democrat among voters nationwide.

In a race between Obama and McCain, the two are in a virtual dead-heat in the state. Each attracted 47 percent of the North Carolina vote. The remaining 6 percent were evenly split between a third-party option and being undecided.

The current survey was completed before Obama’s remarks about small-town voters made headlines.

McCain led Obama by 9 percent a month ago.

In a match-up between Clinton, McCain leads 51 percent to 40 percent. Six percent of those surveyed said they would vote for a third-party option. Three percent were undecided. In March, McCain had a 16 point advantage over Clinton.

Republicans were given a 77 percent chance of winning North Carolina’s 15 Electoral College Votes this fall, according to Rasmussen Markets. George W. Bush won the state by 12 points in 2004 and by 13 points four years earlier.
Prior to the release of the most recent poll, the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power rated the state as “likely Republican.” Balance of Power projections indicate that the Electoral College scoreboard is a toss-up at this time.