The Elon University Poll results reveal North Carolina voters remain split in their presidential preferences. The two candidates, Republican challenger Mitt Romney and Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, each have 45 percent of the vote in North Carolina, with about 5 percent still undecided.
According to the poll, within the 5 percent of undecided voters, leanings are equally divided.
The poll included 1,238 responses collected between Oc. 21-26. Of those polled, 47 percent indicated Obama more closely shares their views, which has increased 2 percentage points since the poll in August when 45 percent their views more closely aligned with those of Obama. In contrast, the percentage of those who indicated their values more closely align with Romney has decreased from 48 percent to 45 percent since August.
Events throughout the campaign have altered favor for candidates, said Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon University Poll.
He attributed Obama’s increased favorability to the job report, which Husser said gave people a more optimistic view of the economy.
“Optimism usually helps the incumbent,” he said.
Furthermore, the "47 percent" video advanced a harmful narrative of Romney, in turn, benefitting Obama’s campaign, according to Husser.
While the majority of those polled report Obama will better handle health care and foreign relations, 52 percent of respondents said they believe Romney will better handle the economy.
“I’m almost certain the economy remains the primary issue on voters’ minds across the country and in North Carolina,” Husser said.
Furthermore, a greater percentage of likely voters also said they believe Obama is more honest and trustworthy and has a clearer plan for addressing the country’s problems.
The poll revealed support for the candidates is divided according to clearly identifiable demographics, specifically race. The results show 88 percent of black voters are inclined to vote for Obama with 2 percent expressing favor for Romney.
The race gap is narrower when examining the population of white voters; 59 percent indicated support for Romney, and 33 percent responded they would vote for Obama.
Obama also receives more support from young voters, according to the poll results, with 56 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 30 supporting Obama.
Annual income has also proved to be a factor in one’s voter preference.
“The lower the income, the more likely the respondent was to support Obama; higher income earners showed stronger support for Romney,” according to a press release published Monday.
Sixty percent of North Carolina voters with less than $25,000 showed favor for Obama, and 30 percent said they were voting for the Republican challenger.
In contrast, 55 percent of those with more than $75,000 in annual income support Romney.
The poll results indicate the president is leading Romney by a margin of 55-37 based on those who voted early, but of those who have not already voted, the Republican candidate holds a 48-34 percent advantage.