Just what does the race look like here in North Carolina? Well, Survey USA and Public Policy Polling offer two wildly different assessments.
SUSA, in cooperation with ABC11 in the Triangle, has McCain up to an improbable 20-point lead over Obama. I say "improbable" because in looking at the internals, this poll makes absolutely no sense. PPP sounds a bit more realistic even if you allow for the fact it's a partisan Dem poll--McCain up four.
I knew right away that something smelled about the SUSA poll when I saw a brief writeup about it on ABC11's Website. The same outfit has Obama only down two in Virginia in a poll taken around the same time. And the internals prove it. The partisan breakdown for the SUSA poll is 41% Repubs/40% Dem. How else do you explain McCain up three among young people and up 11 in the Triangle and Triad? If I were ABC11, I'd be hanging my head in shame over this one.
PPP's numbers make a little bit more sense. I expected McCain to end up with somewhere between a five- and eight-point lead with the bounce, so four points isn't too far off. One encouraging sign from the PPP poll is that Obama and McCain are in a flat-footed tie in the suburbs (Obama 48, McCain 47)--an area where you'd expect Palin to make more of a difference. And the Palin pick appears to have made no difference at all among women.