Near carbon K-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectra of a series of fluorine-substituted ethenes and acetone have been studied using coupled cluster and density functional theory (DFT) polarization propagator methods, as well as the static-exchange (STEX) approach. With the complex polarization propagator (CPP) implemented in coupled cluster theory, relaxation effects following the excitation of core electrons are accounted for in terms of electron correlation, enabling a systematic convergence of these effects with respect to electron excitations in the cluster operator. Coupled cluster results have been used as benchmarks for the assessment of propagator methods in DFT as well as the state-specific static-exchange approach. Calculations on ethene and 1,1-difluoroethene illustrate the possibility of using nonrelativistic coupled cluster singles and doubles (CCSD) with additional effects of electron correlation and relativity added as scalar shifts in energetics. It has been demonstrated that CPP spectra obtained with coupled cluster singles and approximate doubles (CC2), CCSD, and DFT (with a Coulomb attenuated exchange-correlation functional) yield excellent predictions of chemical shifts for vinylfluoride, 1,1-difluoroethene, trifluoroethene, as well as good spectral features for acetone in the case of CCSD and DFT. Following this, CPP-DFT is considered to be a viable option for the calculation of X-ray absorption spectra of larger π-conjugated systems, and CC2 is deemed applicable for chemical shifts but not for studies of fine structure features. The CCSD method as well as the more approximate CC2 method are shown to yield spectral features relating to π*-resonances in good agreement with experiment, not only for the aforementioned molecules but also for ethene, cis-1,2-difluoroethene, and tetrafluoroethene. The STEX approach is shown to underestimate π*-peak separations due to spectral compressions, a characteristic which is inherent to this method.