A new poll out shows Sen. Barack Obama has a lot of ground to make up in North Carolina, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C. has more of what she doesn't want -- negative marks.
With less than two months before Election Day, the newly released poll from Elon University sheds light on how people in North Carolina feel about the candidates and the issues.
The poll states 54 percent of residents favor Republican candidate Sen. John McCain. The favorability of Obama is just 37 percent.
It's a closer race between the vice presidential candidates: Republican Sarah Palin has 49 percent and Democrat Joe Biden has 41 percent.
When asked if the running mates have some influence in their evaluation of the candidates, 67 percent of respondents said yes.
The race for governor is even closer -- in fact, it's tied. Thirty-seven percent give both Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Beverly Perdue a favorable rating.
But the race that has taken a sudden turn is the race for the U.S. Senate. More people are dissatisfied with the incumbent, Republican Elizabeth Dole. The approval ratings for Dole and her opponent, Democrat Kay Hagan, are almost even.
But, since April, more people are saying they are dissatisfied with Dole, an increase of more than 20 percent.
It's clear from the poll that the economy is the No. 1 issue facing people in North Carolina. Behind that, respondents were concerned with energy and the gas prices, and elementary and secondary education.
Finally, when asked about the direction the country was headed, 81 percent said it is headed in the wrong direction.