N.C independents aren’t lining up for Obama

Party affiliation also played into perceptions. Eighty-seven percent of self-identifed Democrats approve of his job performance, while 87 percent of self-identifed Republicans approve.

Big shock, huh? Here’s the interesting sentence from the Elon University Poll: Independents skewed toward more unfavorable marks; 51 percent disapprove of his job performance while 39 percent approve.

This is an opportunity for Republicans. President Obama captured the independent vote in 2008. It helped him win North Carolina. He has to have a big piece of it to win in 2012. Likewise, the GOP must have an equally big chunk for its candidate to win the state. Right now, these voters are up for grabs.

(These results also dispel the idea that independents are liberals in sheep’s clothing.)

According to an analysis by a centrist Democratic think tank:

The fight for independent voters is already shaping up to be tougher in 2012 than it was four years ago. Democratic registration is down in eight battleground states, while independent registration is up 3.4%, according to a Third Way analysis.

Diggles and Erickson contend it would be a mistake to lump all independents together. The independent voters who backed Obama in 2008 are more moderate than independents writ large, and a significant proportion of the president’s independent backers showed in the midterm elections that they are truly swing voters.

Count on these numbers shifting. Because independents are, well, independent, they can hardly be expected to make a decision when the Republican nominee hasn’t yet been determined. I suspect that many in this group will not put a stake in the ground for one candidate until October.

— John Robinson

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