Poll shows extremely tight races in NC

Geography Surveyed: North Carolina
Data Collected: 10/30/2008 - 11/02/2008
Voters Surveyed: 682 Likely and actual voters

Question 1 - If the election for President were today, would you vote for ... (choices rotated) Republican John McCain? Democrat Barack Obama? Or one of the other candidates? (Margin of error +-3.8%)

49% McCain (R)
48% Obama (D)
2% Other
2% Undecided

Question 2 - If the election for United States Senator were today, would you vote for (choices rotated) Republican Elizabeth Dole? Democrat Kay Hagan? Or Libertarian Chris Cole? (Margin of error +-3.8%)

43% Elizabeth Dole (R)
50% Kay Hagan (D)
5% Chris Cole (L)
2% Undecided

Question 3 - If the election for Governor were today, would you vote for (choices rotated) Republican Pat McCrory? Democrat Beverly Perdue? Or Libertarian Mike Munger? (Margin of error +-3.8%)

47% Pat McCrory (R)
48% Beverly Perdue (D)
4% Mike Munger (L)
2% Undecided

SurveyUSA's final pre-election tracking poll in North Carolina shows Democrat challenger Kay Hagan taking away Republican Elizabeth Dole's seat in the US Senate, but provides limited visibility as to how the Presidential election and Governor's election will be decided. Hagan has trailed in 6 previous SurveyUSA tracking polls, but at the wire appears to pull ahead of Dole 50% to 43%. Women rally to Hagan in the final hours, providing her daylight for the first time in 6 months.

In the battle for NC's 15 electoral votes, John McCain and Barack Obama remain as they have been for a month: tied. McCain gets 49% today, nominally 1 point better than Obama at 48%, but effectively no different than SurveyUSA's poll two weeks ago, which showed it 47% to 47%, and not materially different than SurveyUSA's tracking poll 4 weeks ago, which showed it 49% to 46% McCain. Obama leads by 15 points among those who tell SurveyUSA they have already voted. McCain leads by an offsetting 23 points among those who have not yet voted but promise SurveyUSA they will. Black turnout is 20% in SurveyUSA's model. If blacks vote in larger numbers, Obama benefits. If young people vote in larger numbers than shown here, Obama benefits. If blacks and young people both vote in larger numbers, Obama carries the state.

In the election for the open Governor seat, Democrat Bev Perdue has late momentum, and is nominally ahead of Republican Pat McCrory for the first time since August. Perdue 48%, McCrory 47% on Election Eve. Women and moderates break crisply for Perdue in the campaign's final days. McCrory leads in greater Charlotte and greater Greensboro. Perdue leads in greater Raleigh and Southern NC. Perdue leads by 14 among those who have already voted. McCrory leads by 15 among those who have not yet voted. Depending on how many have not yet voted, that will either be enough for McCrory to win, or enough for McCrory to wish he had banked more early votes. At this hour, the contest can and should be characterized as even.

Filtering: 800 adults were interviewed 10/30/08 through 11/02/08. Of them, 741 were registered to vote. Of them, 682 were determined by SurveyUSA to have already voted, or to be likely to vote on or before Election Day. George W. Bush carried North Carolina by 12 points in 2004 and by 13 points in 2000. Jimmy Carter carried the state, but no Democrat has since.

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