New WSOC Poll Shows Political Races Still Close, Economy Top Of Mind
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A new poll commissioned by Eyewitness News shows that several major political races are still too close to call.
Compared to a previous poll for the station, Sen. Barack Obama is up 2.4 percentage points in the race for the presidency, while Sen. John McCain, his Republican challenger, is down 1.4 percent. That poll showed McCain had a slight advantage with 47.8 percent support, but this poll shows Obama has pulled ahead with 48.4 percent support.
Undecided voters made up 5.2 percent of those polled, down one percentage point from the previous poll. With these current numbers, it appears North Carolina is still up for grabs but could be tilting in Obama’s favor.
The Senate race in North Carolina is also too close to call. The percentage of undecided voters, which was 8 in this poll, will likely determine whether Democrat Kay Hagan takes Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s seat. Hagan has 44 percent of respondents' support while Dole has 43.4 percent.
In the race to become North Carolina’s next governor, Democrat Bev Perdue’s support is down slightly and Republican Pat McCrory, Charlotte’s mayor, has gained some support. In the previous poll, Perdue, the N.C. lieutenant governor, had a 3.4 percent advantage over McCrory. That lead is down to 0.6 percent in the new poll to 44.2 percent. McCrory 43.8 percent of respondents' support, up from 43 percent. The number of people who said they are voting for a third-party candidate is now up to 4.6 percent, up from 3.4 percent. Seven percent of those polled said they are undecided about who they will vote for.
Mike Munger is running in the gubernatorial race for the Libertarian Party.
Dr. Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, said the 5 to 8 percent in undecided voters is quite normal with two weeks to go. He also said that usually bodes well for the challenger in the race.
The economy remains a hot topic for voters. The number of respondents who said they think the economy is fair or poor went up to 93.4 percent from 91.6 percent in the last poll. The number of respondents who said the economy is the most important issue in the election is at 41.6 percent. Among them, all three Democratic candidates have the advantage, including a 33.6 percent advantage for Obama over McCain.
The poll was taken on Monday and Tuesday of this week following the final presidential and gubernatorial debates last week. It included 500 likely voters in North Carolina and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
This was an automated survey executed exclusively for WSOC-TV by Marshall Marketing and Communications, an independent and non-partisan research company.