@NCCapitol

Romney to visit Asheville on Thursday

Posted October 8, 2012 3:17 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2012 9:03 p.m. EDT

— Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will visit Asheville on Thursday, according to his campaign. 

He will be joined by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for a rally at the U.S. Cellular Center, at 87 Haywood St., at 5:30 p.m.

With four weeks until the election, North Carolina remains a fierce battleground for Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama, according to a WRAL News poll released last week.

SurveyUSA polled 573 likely voters statewide and found that 49 percent would vote for Obama and 47 percent for Romney if the election were held now. The remaining 4 percent were either undecided or voting for another candidate.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, meaning the president and the former Massachusetts governor are in a virtual dead heat for North Carolina's 15 electoral votes.

The race has been tight for months. A WRAL News poll in May showed Romney ahead of Obama 45 to 44 percent.

In May, Romney was preferred by male voters by a 51 to 38 percent margin, while Obama was favored by female voters by 50 to 40 percent. Now, Romney's edge among male voters is down to 51 to 44 percent, while Obama's lead among female voters is 53 to 44 percent.

In the latest poll, Romney holds a slight lead among the coveted middle-class voters, 50 to 45 percent among those with annual incomes of $40,000 to $80,000. Meanwhile, the candidates are tied among wealthier voters, while Obama has a 13-point lead among lower-income voters.

The candidates are splitting independent voters – the poll shows Romney with a 45 to 43 percent lead – and 15 percent of Democrats said they won't support the president's re-election. Only 6 percent of Republican voters said they would vote for Obama.