Obama, Romney Neck-And-Neck In Three States

NBC News and Marist are out with a new round of swing state polling with some interesting, surprising results:

A new round of NBC News-Marist polls shows President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney running almost neck-and-neck in three key battleground states, with Obama holding a slight advantage in Michigan and North Carolina, and the two candidates tied in New Hampshire.

In Michigan, Obama is ahead by four percentage points among registered voters, including those who are undecided but are still leaning toward a candidate, 47 to 43 percent.

In North Carolina, the president gets 46 percent to Romney’s 44 percent, which is within the survey’s margin of error.

And in New Hampshire, the two men are tied at 45 percent each.

The numbers in Michigan are interesting to say the least. Four years ago, the President beat John McCain by seventeen percentage points there, and the Republicans have not won the state in a Presidential election since George H.W. Bush did it 1988. Given the Romney family connection to the state, there has been a question as to whether the state would be competitive this year. At least judging by this number, it may very well turn out to be which, considering that the state has 20 Electoral Votes, could end up being a big deal.

The North Carolina numbers are actually a little surprising. Obama only won that state by less than 20,000 votes in 2008 and the Democrats have been suffering setbacks there ever since. If there’s any state where Romney has a chance to flip the result from the previous election, it would be the Tarheel State. However, at the moment at least it looks like we’ll have a contest there to keep an eye on.

New Hampshire is less of a surprise. Yes, Obama did score a fairly strong win there in 2008, but Romney’s ties to the state are as strong as his ties to Massachusetts (where he admittedly has no hope of winning) so this one is going to go down to the wire. At only four Electoral votes, New Hampshire doesn’t seem like it would matter, but in a razor close election it too could prove decisive.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ian says:

    If Michigan rejects the guy who saved the auto industry in favor of the guy who said “let it burn” (I’m paraphrasing), then it deserves to be reduced to a hellish Mad Max wasteland, to the extent that it isn’t already. You get the government you deserve.

  2. Eno says:

    The NBC/Marist poll cited used registered voters (even though they included some questions on voting likelihood, so they could have chosen to report both registered and likely sets of figures).

    North Carolina is one of several states where the RV vs LV difference will be critical in the actual election. Obama won NC last time and it was the black vote AND TURNOUT that put him over the top (blacks are 22% of the NC population).

    I believe one of the interesting things in the 2012 election will be diminishing turnout in several of Obama’s core constituencies. It would not surprise me if Obama won approximately the same high percentage of the black vote but that black voter turnout is enough lower to make a significant difference in a few states (NC among them). The same may be true of other Obama constituencies although harder to measure correctly.