PPP's new North Carolina poll continues to find an unexpectedly competitive Senate race. Richard Burr leads Deborah Ross by just 4 points, 40-36, with Libertarian Sean Haugh pulling 7%. Ross is actually slightly ahead with independents, getting 31% to Burr's 30% and 14% for Haugh. The tightness of the race is a function of Burr's just not having made much of an impression on voters in the state during his first two terms in the Senate. Burr has only a 30% approval rating and there are both more voters who disapprove (39%) of him or have no opinion (31%) about him. Ross is still largely unknown- 65% of voters have no opinion about her one way or another- among those who do have one 18% see her favorably and 17% unfavorably. Multiple polling companies are finding that this may be a better pick up opportunity for Democrats than had previously been expected.
One thing helping to make the Senate race in North Carolina competitive is that the Presidential race looks like it will once again be a toss up in the Tar Heel state. Hillary Clinton ties Donald Trump at 44% head to head, and leads Ted Cruz 45/40. This continues a trend we've been finding a lot lately of Cruz being even more unpopular than Trump. Cruz has a -35 net favorability spread in North Carolina (24/59) which makes Trump's -25 (33/58) look good in comparison. The Republican who would be strongest in the state is John Kasich who leads Clinton 46/39 and Sanders 43/41 but that seems relatively immaterial at this point. Sanders would lead Cruz 46/38 and Trump 46/43.
Harriet Tubman (60/12 favorability) and Andrew Jackson (51/20) are both pretty popular figures with North Carolinians. They are each seen positively by Democrats (69/8 for Tubman, 43/31 for Jackson) and Republicans (58/12 for Jackson, 47/18 for Tubman) alike. But when it comes to who should be on the 20 dollar bill there's a large party divide. Democrats think it should be Tubman by a 59/27 spread, but Republicans think it should be Jackson by an ever wider 65/18. Overall it comes out to 44% preferring Jackson and 39% preferring Tubman. Among voters who have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump, 75% think Jackson should remain on the $20 to only 13% think who are fine with Tubman.
After wading into the HB2 debate we find that North Carolinians' attitudes toward Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam divide strongly along party lines. Springsteen has an overall even 37/37 favorability split, but it's 51/20 with Democrats and 17/61 with Republicans. Pearl Jam comes in at 26/33- 34/16 with Democrats, but 11/53 with Republicans.
Finally we find that Thom Tillis continues to have what has to be one of the lowest approval ratings of any Senator in the country. Just 23% approve of the job he's doing to 38% who disapprove, with a 39% plurality having no opinion one way or another.
Full results here