The Elon University Poll released today shows the presidential race in North Carolina to be a dead heat. So does the left-leaning Public Policy Polling, which was in the field at the same time as ours. So does the right-leaning Civitas Institute, which was also in the field last week.
Two differences worth mentioning. First, the Elon Poll is independent and does no contract work for groups or candidates. Second, the margins of error are different; Elon’s is plus-or-minus 2.7 percentage points vs. 4 points for the other two polls.
But the end point is the same. The race in North Carolina is the same as it is nationally — tighter than the bark on a tree, to use a Southern colloquilism. While it appeared several weeks ago that Gov. Romney was ahead — even causing us to wonder if N.C. was still a battleground state — President Obama has closed the gap.
It appears that what the pundits have been saying all along is accurate: whichever candidate gets his supporters to the polls will carry the state.
— John Robinson