Polls: Obama ahead in Ohio, North Carolina

Two new polls show President Obama ahead in the swing states of Ohio and North Carolina. 

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Monday shows the president leading his GOP opponent Mitt Romney with 50 percent support to 45 in Ohio and up 49 to 48 percent in North Carolina.

Obama’s edge in Ohio is his largest in PPP’s polling since early May. In August, PPP showed Obama topping Romney by 48 to 45 percent in Ohio.

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The poll finds both candidates receiving a boost after their conventions, with Obama’s approval rating in Ohio now at 48 percent approval, 48 disapproval. That’s an improvement over last month when Obama was under water with a 46 percent approval rating and 51 percent disapproval.

Romney remains unpopular with voters in the state, but has also shown gains since the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., the last week of August. Forty-four percent of Ohio voters have a favorable impression of Romney, to 49 negative, up from his 41 favorable, 52 unfavorable rating last month.

The Ohio survey holds a bright spot for the Romney campaign, finding the former Massachusetts governor leading among independent voters, 46 to 44.

In North Carolina, Obama’s slim 1-point lead of 49 to 48 percent is within the poll’s 3-point margin of error. That figure is also little changed from last week’s 48-48 tie in North Carolina, showing little uptick in the state after Democrats held their convention in Charlotte. 

“North Carolina’s been a swing state from the start and it looks like it will be a swing state to the end,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. 

The poll did find a strong swing among independents in the state for Obama. Last week Romney led among North Carolina independents 51 percent to 40, but now the candidates are tied at 48.

Obama’s approval in North Carolina is at 50 percent favorable to 49 unfavorable, the first time the president has had a net positive rating in the state since April. Romney is still in negative territory at 48 favorable, 49 unfavorable.

Ohio and North Carolina are two of 12 battleground states carried by Obama in 2008 that will be crucial to determining the winner of November’s election. 

Both campaigns are making strong efforts to capture the states, with Romney launching an ad blitz hammering Obama on his economic record in both states. The president delivered a Labor Day address in Toledo, Ohio, last week, and Vice President Biden toured the Buckeye State this weekend.

The North Carolina and Ohio surveys were conducted from Sept. 7 to 8 and have a 3-point margin of error.