"I'm lucky. I have my own business. But I have a lot of friends who have been unable to find work," Newman, who lives in Concord, said outside a polling place. "I thought the economy would turn around. It just hasn't."
Obama lost a small bit of ground around Raleigh and the suburbs of Charlotte and Greensboro. Obama's share of the vote dropped 2 percentage points or more in Wake, Orange. Davidson, Randolph, Catawba and Union counties.
Both parties had significant get-out-the-vote efforts in the state, sending thousands of volunteers in the campaign's final weeks to make phone calls and knock on doors.
The nonpartisan North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, which tracks state politics for business interests, counted 112 separate presidential campaign ads that aired in North Carolina since the May primary — 38 from the Obama campaign, 37 from Romney, 35 from Republican-leading outside groups and two from Democratic-leaning groups