Florida And North Carolina Both Dead Heats Halfway Through Convention Season

Kyle Leighton
TPM

The two crucial swing states hosting major party conventions this year are statistical dead heats when it comes to the presidential race: Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling surveys released late Sunday night showed President Obama up 1 point in Florida and tied with Republican nominee Mitt Romney in North Carolina.

"Mitt Romney received no bounce from the Republican convention in Florida. ... The other speakers appear to have made more of a positive impression on voters than he did himself. To some extent he was overshadowed at his own convention," said Dean Debnam, President of PPP in a release. "North Carolina looks like a sheer toss up heading into the Democratic convention."

Obama is ahead 48 percent to 47 percent in Florida, and both men are locked at 48 percent in North Carolina. The story is very similar in both states -- President Obama's approval rating lags and Romney's own lukewarm favorability ratings aren't enough to push him past Obama.

Among independent voters in Florida Obama leads 51 percent to Romney's 39 percent, but the president loses independents to the former governor 40 percent to 51 percent in North Carolina. Obama is able to pull even with Romney in the Tar Heel state due to a Democratic registration advantage of nearly 764,000. From PPP:

Although the Presidential race remains a toss up, Mitt Romney has seen some improvement in his image with North Carolinians over the last month. 47% rate him favorably now to 48% with an unfavorable opinion. That's up a net 7 points from our last poll when he was at a -8 spread with 42% of voters rating him positively and 50% negatively. Obama's approval rating has barely changed since early August in the state- 48% of voters think he's doing a good job to 50% who disapprove of him. Romney and Obama are both slightly under water in their favorability/approval numbers.

Obama's areas of strength are pretty predictable. He's up 51-44 with women, 83-15 with non-white voters, and 50-45 with folks under 65. Romney is up 52-44 with men, 60-35 with white voters, and 58-39 with seniors. That wide generational gap is particularly telling- North Carolina might be a swing state for a long time moving forward.

In the PollTracker Average of all public polling, Romney leads Obama in North Carolina 47.1 percent to 45.7 percent:

A real downside for President Obama is his standing with Democrats. He's losing 19 percent of registered Dems in North Carolina and 18 percent in Florida, and the same slice of his own party disapproves of his job performance in both states -- 20 percent. Romney doesn't have the same level of struggle with his own party -- only 12 percent of Republicans hold an unfavorable view of him in North Carolina and 11 percent feel the same in Florida.

Overall, Obama leads Romney in Florida 48.2 percent to 47.2 percent in the PollTracker Average of all public polling:

The poll of Florida used 1,548 and the survey of North Carolina used 1,012 automated telephone interviews of likely voters by landline (automated surveys are prohibited from calling cells) conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. The margin of error is 2.5 for the Florida poll and 3.1 for North Carolina.