Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has taken a slight lead over President Barack Obama in the swing state of North Carolina, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Public Policy Polling found the presumptive Republican presidential nominee leading Obama 48-46 — the first time since October 2011 that Romney has led in PPP’s monthly poll of the state.
It is a narrow lead, but also is the culmination of a trend over the past few months, during which time Romney has slowly but steadily chipped away at Obama’s lead. In PPP’s May poll of the state, Romney was one point behind Obama, 47-48. In April, Romney was down five points, 44-49.
As the numbers have changed, so has the relative popularity of the two candidates. Romney has seen an upswing in his favorability among North Carolinians, while Obama has seen his approval rating slide lower.
PPP attributes this trend to disapproval among Democrats, 20 percent of whom say they would support Romney over Obama.
Romney now leads among independents, a crucial voting bloc in a swing state, 42-41. As recently as April, he was losing independents to Obama, 51 percent to 38 percent.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is the venue for the Democratic National Convention this summer. Obama won the state by a razor-thin margin in 2008.