President Obama has a 3-point lead in North Carolina, where Mitt Romney's appeal is slipping among voters, according to a new poll.
The poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 46 percent. In its July poll of North Carolina, Obama held a 1-point lead, 47 percent to 46 percent.
"Independent voters have warmed up to the President considerably over the past month, turning towards Obama by 12 points, though still favoring Romney by a 48% to 44% mark," PPP pollsters wrote. "Obama's approval rating has also improved among this key demographic, from a scathing -25 in July to -13 today."
The PollTracker Average of the state still shows a 2 percent lead for Romney. Republican-leaning Rasmussen found a 5-point lead for the former governor.
Romney's image has waned slightly in PPP's numbers -- 44 percent of voters viewed him favorably, and 47 unfavorably in July, compared with 42 percent who view him favorably and 50 percent who view him unfavorably in the most recent survey. Romney's favorability rating is higher in other polls.
Pollsters also pointed to the schism between long-term North Carolina residents versus newer transplants, which is affecting the state's political makeup:
This most recent survey includes results among North Carolina's newer residents, asking both if respondents were born in the Tar Heel state and how long they have lived there. Obama's entire margin comes from non native North Carolinians. In this group, the President leads 51% to 45%, while he is tied with Romney among natives at 47%.
Even more telling is Obama's standing with the newest group of North Carolina residents; among those who have lived in the state for 10 years or less, a group that constitutes 11% of the voting population, Obama leads by 39 points. Romney's share of the vote generally increases with length of NC residence, peaking at +14 with those who have lived in North Carolina for 40 years or more.
The PPP survey used 813 automated telephone interviews with likely voters conducted from Aug. 2-5. It has a sampling error of 3.4 percent.