The newest poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling the presidential race is deadlocked and Pat McCrory enjoying a big lead in the governor's race.
The survey of likely voters released Thursday shows President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney tied at 48 percent with just 4 percent undecided. It's a slight improvement or the president. A PPP poll from Oct. 14 put Romney ahead 49 percent to 47 percent, though it was still a statistical tie.
The governor's race isn't even close. Pat McCrory holds a 13-point lead on Democrat Walter Dalton, ahead 50 percent to 37 percent. Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe gets 5 percent and 8 percent of voters are undecided, PPP found. Most troubling for Dalton: Despite statewide TV debates and a Democratic ad campaign, the new numbers show McCrory only increasing his lead from mid-October when PPP gave him a 10-point edge.
The poll surveyed 880 likely voters was conducted Tuesday to Thursday. It's margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.3 percentage points.
In downballot races, the scandal enveloping Republican Debra Goldman appears to be hurting her numbers -- though not by as much as some would expect. State Auditor Beth Wood is ahead 45 percent to 38 percent against Goldman, an eight-point advantage.
Other contested Council of State races: Democrat Elaine Marshall leads Republican challenger Ed Goodwin in the secretary of state race 43-38 percent; Democratic State Superintendent June Atkinson leads Republican John Tedesco 42-40 percent; Republican labor commissioner Cherie Berry bests Democrat John Brooks 43-37 percent; and Democratic insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin tops Republican Mike Causey 45-36 percent.
Other interesting findings: voters believe Obama won the last presidential debate, Obama and Romney are running about even on who is better trusted on the economy and 68 percent are excited about this election.