(CNN) - The presidential race in North Carolina is neck and neck between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, a new survey released Monday indicates.
The Elon University Poll shows the two candidates tied at 45% apiece in the Tar Heel State, where 15 electoral votes are up for grabs
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Several recent surveys indicated Romney with a slight advantage in the state, and in a sign of confidence about their chances there, the Romney campaign recently began shifting some staffers out of North Carolina and into Ohio and other key states.
Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod said on a conference call with reporters on Monday the incumbent believes North Carolina is "very much in play."
"We've added money over the last few weeks on television there and we're going after it," he said. "We're going to do everything within our power to win the state of North Carolina."
While the Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte, Obama has not campaigned in the state since his nomination acceptance speech at the convention in early September.
Likely voters favored Romney over Obama on handling the economy, 52% to 42%, and by the same margin favored Obama over Romney on handling foreign policy.
Obama has an advantage over Romney among women, 51% to 40%, while Romney has a similar margin among men, 51% to 39%.
It is too early to tell the extent of Hurricane Sandy's impact on voting in the state. Some polling places which would have been open for early voting were closed over the weekend as the hurricane sacked the state, especially the Outer Banks. According to the poll, Obama leads among those who have already voted, 55% to 37%, though Romney has an edge among likely voters who have yet to cast ballots, 48% to 43%.
North Carolina was a toss up state on the CNN Electoral Map but was shifted earlier this month to leaning in Romney's favor. Other news organizations also shifted North Carolina to lean Romney.
The poll was conducted between October 21 and 26, mostly after the final presidential debate between Obama and Romney. It included 1,238 likely voters in North Carolina and had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.79%.
– CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report