The presidential race is heating up with Gov. Mitt Romney in the lead in North Carolina by 8 percentage points over Democratic candidate President Barack Obama, according to a May 16 poll by Rasmussen Reports.
North Carolina has recently become a swing state. In the past, the state has sent Republicans to the White House and Democrats to the legislature, but with the 2010 shift to a Republican majority in the N.C. General Assembly it seems that the state is up for grabs by Republicans.
The poll surveyed 500 likely N.C. voters about who they would vote for between Romney and Obama. Romney’s eight-point lead was a jump from an April 13 poll by the same firm that showed Romney beating Obama by two points.
The report speculates that the recent drop in Obama’s popularity in the state might be a result of his endorsement of same-sex marriage after state voters passed a constitutional amendment to outlaw it. Obama is the first president to publicly endorse same-sex marriage.
According to an article in the Washington Post, the other swing states that the candidates will be fighting for are Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Statistician Nate Silver of the New York Times has questioned the credibility of Rasmussen Reports. He accused their polls of exhibiting a “considerable bias toward Republican candidates” in a 2010 article. The company did not respond to Silver’s accusations.