In 2008, President Obama became the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry North Carolina in 32 years. A new PPP poll now shows him gaining momentum toward taking that state again in 2012, with the President posting a positive approval rating there for the first time in a year and for the first time leading in hypothetical matchups with all four of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination.
In the poll, 49% of respondents said they approved of Obama’s job performance, while 47% said they disapproved of the job he was doing. That’s a five-point swing from last month, when North Carolinians disapproved of Obama by a 46% to 49% split, and it’s the first time since December 2009 that Obama has held a net positive approval rating in the state.In head-to-head matchups, Obama led four GOP candidates by margins of three to nine points. Mitt Romney polled closest to Obama, trailing the President 47% to 44%. Mike Huckabee–who led Obama by four points in November, and by one point in December–saw his lead erode entirely so that he now trails Obama by four points, 49% to 45%. Obama also led Newt Gingrich 50% to 44%, and topped Sarah Palin 50% to 41%.
In 2008, Obama barely slipped past McCain to win North Carolina by about 14,000 votes, or 0.4%.
The PPP poll was conducted January 20-23 among 575 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 4.1%