Local Politics

Poll: Obama, McCain tied in N.C.

Posted October 13, 2008 8:23 p.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2008 9:44 a.m. EDT

— A WRAL News poll released Monday shows that the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates still tied as the senators kept on fighting for the Tar Heel State.

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain each claimed 48 percent of the poll participants. One percent of respondents said they would vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and 3 percent were undecided.

The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, surveyed 1,000 self-described likely voters by phone Sunday. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points in either direction.

A poll conducted on Wednesday last week showed Obama ahead, 49-48 percent.

The poll indicated that much of Obama's support derives from voters' concerns about the economy, while McCain was attractive to voters most concerned about national security. Fifty-two percent of respondents said the economy was the No. 1 issue, and 26 percent said the same for national security.

Sixty-one percent of those who listed economic issues as their top concern said they would vote for Obama. Seventy-six percent who said national security was the most important issued planned to vote for McCain.

However, when asked asked which candidate they trusted more to handle the economy or national security, respondents split in much closer margins – 48-47 for Obama on the economy, and 52-43 for McCain on national security.

McCain also did well among voters concerned with cultural and fiscal issues, while Obama scored high with concerned about domestic issues.

More than 60 percent of voters who identified themselves as moderates planned to vote for Obama, while McCain polled a 3-point lead among voters who belonged to neither major party.

Obama garnered the support of 51 percent of women and 89 percent of non-whites. McCain lead among men over age 40 and women over age 65.

A majority of voters gave favorable ratings to both candidates, but McCain took a 7-point lead, 51-43, as the more trustworthy candidate.

When asked which man they would ask for advice in the toughest decision of their lives, 49 percent chose McCain and 43 percent chose Obama.

A majority indicated the would be comfortable with either presidential candidate or their running mates – Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin – in the White House.

Obama has been making an aggressive bid to win North Carolina's 15 electoral votes. He and Biden have made six speeches in the state in the past month, including one joint appearance. The Obama campaign outspent the McCain camp 8-1 on advertising Sept. 28-Oct. 4.

McCain, however, has ramped up campaigning in the Tar Heel State. In the past six days, he and Palin have both spoken in eastern North Carolina – his first public appearance in the state since the May primary.

The state has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.