Local Politics

Poll: McCain holds close lead over Obama in N.C.

Republican John McCain holds a 46 to 42 percent lead over Democrat Barack Obama among N.C. voters in the presidential race, according to a new WRAL News poll.

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John McCain, Barack Obama
RALEIGH, N.C. — More voters in North Carolina are leaning toward Republican presidential candidate John McCain, a WRAL News Poll showed Friday.

In a survey of 700 likely voters statewide by polling firm Rasmussen Reports, McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 46 to 42 percent. The poll, which was conducted Wednesday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

McCain widened his lead over Obama in North Carolina by one percentage point from a similar poll conducted a month ago.

The presumptive GOP candidate's four-point lead is among voters who described themselves as certain in their choices. The poll also included people who said they were favoring one candidate or the other but might change their minds before November.

When those people, called "leaners," are included, McCain has opened a six-point lead, 50 to 44 percent. That marks his biggest edge since mid-March.

McCain's support has climbed since mid-March, the time of controversial comments by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor.

Both candidates are viewed favorably by the majority of North Carolina residents polled during the telephone survey. McCain is viewed favorably by 59 percent, an increase of two percentage points from last month. Fifty-one percent of voters found Obama to be favorable, down a point from last month.

Sixty-percent of white voters surveyed supported McCain to Obama’s 27 percent. Obama led the black vote with 93 percent to McCain’s 1 percent.

McCain led Obama by 20 percentage points among male voters, 58 percent to 38 percent. Obama leads female voters 49 percent to 44 percent.

Obama leads among voters aged 18 to 29, with 51 percent to McCain's 37 percent. McCain’s strongest contingent was among voters 65 years or older, where he leads Obama by 20 percentage points – 57 percent to 37 percent.

North Carolina voters indicated they were most interested in economic issues and finding new sources of energy. Voters surveyed believe the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terrorism.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed thought President George W. Bush was doing a poor job, compared with 38 percent who found Bush to be doing a good or excellent job.