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Public Policy Polling just rolled out a poll of the presidential race in its home state, North Carolina.  The numbers are pretty encouraging.  Despite only a 44 percent approval rating, Obama leads Romney by one (45-44) and Perry by four (48-44).  By comparison, last month Obama was tied with Perry.

PPP's Tom Jensen puts it pretty bluntly--North Carolinians aren't at all impressed with the Republican field.

If Republicans had any really strong candidate Obama would probably be looking doomed in the polls right now- but they don't and that's why he still appears to have a fighting chance for reelection.  The GOP field is Obama's greatest asset as he seeks a second term.

The internals seem to bear this out.  All of the Repub candidates have net negative approval ratings, ranging from -17 for Romney to -32 for Perry.  And North Carolina moderates are still breaking pretty strongly for Obama--58 percent of them approve of the job he's doing, and moderates give him pretty solid margins against all candidates.

PPP has an idea why Perry seems to be tanking here.  Seems that back in 1992, when Perry was still Texas agriculture commissioner, he claimed that eastern North Carolina barbecue was worse than roadkill.  A good 40 percent, including 36 percent of Repubs, are less inclined to vote for him as a result.

Jensen isn't sure that Obama can win North Carolina with a 44 percent approval rating.  I have to beg to differ--per the internals, Obama's approval numbers are only in the red here because conservatives don't like him.  Chances are most of them won't vote for Obama anyway.

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