Presidential Race in NC a Tossup; Cunningham and Cooper Lead

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PPP’s newest North Carolina poll finds a toss up for President, a Senate race leaning in Cal Cunningham’s direction, and Roy Cooper’s position for reelection becoming increasingly strong.

Joe Biden leads Donald Trump 48-47 in the Presidential race. Fitting the pattern we’ve seen in most swing states the undecided voters are Democratic leaning- they voted for Hillary Clinton by 29 points and they support Cal Cunningham over Thom Tillis in the Senate race by 40 points. If they end up voting for President along those lines Biden would lead by 3 in the state. But they’re not sold on him yet and he and his allies will need to continue working to win them over.

In the Senate race Cal Cunningham leads Thom Tillis 47-40, little changed from PPP’s last poll of the race in February when Cunningham led Tillis 46-41. Cunningham’s advantage with critical independent voters is 17 points at 49/32.

The results reflect Democratic leaning voters being more unified around Cunningham than Republican leaning ones are around Tillis- 88% of Clinton voters support Cunningham to 77% of Trump voters for Tillis. That also means Tillis has more room to grow though- the undecideds for Senate support Trump over Biden by 18 points. Assuming most of those folks end up voting for Tillis whether they love him or not, the race should tighten.

In the Governor’s race Roy Cooper leads Dan Forest by 14 points at 50-36. That represents quite a shift from PPP’s last publicly released poll of the race in June which found Cooper up by just 4 points at 45-41.

Cooper’s gain reflects a strong feeling from North Carolinians that the state has handled the coronavirus correctly- and much better than the federal government. 69% think the state’s response has been ‘about right,’ to only 15% who think it’s overreacted and 11% who believe it’s underreacted. By contrast a plurality of voters- 44%- think the federal government has underreacted to 42% who think its response has been about right and 11% who think it’s overreacted.

PPP interviewed 1,318 North Carolina voters on April 14th and 15th. The margin of error is +/-2.7% and the full results are here.

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