As Republicans and Democrats descend on Florida and North Carolina over the next two weeks for their respective conventions, a new poll released Monday shows a tight presidential race in both battlegrounds.
In a new CNN/Time poll, available exclusively on the CNN/Time Convention Floor Pass app, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden top Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) among likely voters in Florida, 50 percent to 46 percent. Obama and Biden have a 12-point lead among Florida women and a 41-point advantage among “non-white” voters in the Sunshine State.
Romney and Ryan, meanwhile, lead by 4 points among men and hold an 18-point advantage among white voters. Among voters 65 years and older — a bloc drawing increased attention, particularly in Florida, due to the campaign’s recent focus on Medicare — the GOP ticket leads by 6 points, 51 percent to 45 percent.
The PollTracker Average shows Florida in toss-up territory, with Obama clinging to a 1.1-point lead.
In North Carolina, where Democrats will gather beginning next week at their party’s convention in Charlotte, Romney and Ryan lead by 1-point among likely voters, 48 percent to 47 percent. The poll shows a stark racial divide there. The Republicans hold a massive lead among white voters, 63 percent to 33 percent, but Obama and Biden’s lead among non-white voters is even greater: 84 percent to 9 percent.
The PollTracker Average also shows a toss-up in North Carolina, where Romney and Ryan narrowly lead, 48.5 percent to 46.8 percent.
Monday’s polls illustrate a source of concern for the Obama campaign: a drop-off in support from registered voters to likely voters. Among registered voters, Obama and Biden lead by 9 points in Florida and by 2 points in North Carolina. In CNN’s national poll released last week, Obama’s lead over Romney dipped from 9 points among registered voters nationwide to 2 points among likely voters.
The CNN/Time poll was conducted Aug. 22-26 using live telephone interviews with 776 likely voters in Florida and 766 likely voters in North Carolina. Each sample has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.