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Poll: Obama trails in North Carolina as convention kicks off

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Like the Republicans last week, Democrats will hold their national convention in a state that favors the other party’s presidential candidate, according to a poll released Monday.

The poll by Elon University found that as Democrats gather in Charlotte, N.C., for this week’s convention, 47 percent of likely voters in the Tar Heel State favor GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, while just 43 percent support President Obama.

Mr. Obama won North Carolina by just 0.3 percentage point in 2008, and it figures to be a key swing state this year. Republicans held their convention last week in Tampa, Fla., as a CNN/Time poll showed Mr. Romney trailing by 4 points in the state.

The Elon poll, which surveyed 1,089 likely voters in North Carolina, found that Mr. Romney has the edge with independent voters in the state, carrying 40 percent of them compared with Mr. Obama’s 34 percent.

Respondents also give Mr. Romney a 13-point margin when it comes to handling the economy, while they give the president a 6-point edge in handling foreign relations.

Nearly half of voters said they consider the economy and jobs to be this election’s top issues, followed by health care at 16 percent, the federal budget deficit at 13 percent and education at 10 percent.

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