Trump, Burr Have Small Leads in North Carolina

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s new North Carolina poll finds Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton 43-41 in the state, with Gary Johnson at 3% and Jill Stein at 2%. Trump’s 2 point lead represents a 4 point improvement from our March poll of the state, when Clinton was ahead by a couple points. The movement has come completely among Republicans. In March Clinton was up 79-13 among Democrats, and now she’s up 79-12 among Democrats. In March Trump was up 49-32 among independents, and now he’s up 45-27 among independents. But in March Trump was only up by 63 points among Republicans at 73/10, and now he has a 76 point lead among them at 81/5. That’s the entire reason the race has shifted from a slight Clinton advantage to a slight Trump advantage. 

If a 2 point advantage for Trump held through November, that would match Mitt Romney’s margin of victory in 2012 in North Carolina. That’s a trend we’ve found in a lot of our recent polling- the race is shaping up very similarly to how things went between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.


Most Recent PPP Poll

2012 Results

North Carolina

Trump +2

Romney +2

New Mexico

Clinton +8

Obama +10


Trump +2

Romney +10


Clinton +4

Obama +4

West Virginia

Trump +27

Romney +27


Clinton +3

Obama +3

Every place we’ve polled in the last month we’ve found the Clinton/Trump race within a few points of where the Obama/Romney race ended up with the exception of Arizona, where there were a disproportionate share of Republican voters on the fence and we would expect them to eventually come home and give Trump a broader advantage. There was so much talk earlier this year of Clinton winning some sort of historical landslide that expectations got out of whack and now fuel perceptions that she’s doing really poorly, but the bottom line is she’s pretty much where Obama was in an election that while relatively close in the popular vote ended up as an electoral college landslide.

For what it’s worth Bernie Sanders leads Trump 43/40 in North Carolina with Johnson at 3% and Stein at 2% getting the same share of the vote they get in a race with Clinton. The difference between how Clinton and Sanders perform against Trump continues to come completely among younger voters. With those under 45 Clinton is ahead by 4 at 42/38, but Sanders is up by 16 at 48/32.

North Carolina’s Senate race continues to be surprisingly competitive. Richard Burr’s lead is just 3 points at 39% to 36% for Deborah Ross, and 8% for Libertarian Sean Haugh. Burr continues to be pretty unpopular with only 28% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 40% who disapprove. Ross is largely a blank slate to voters with 64% having no opinion about her one way or another. Opinions split evenly at 18/18 when it comes to her favorability/unfavorability. 

One issue that’s shaping up to cause trouble for Burr right now is that of the vacant Supreme Court seat. 58% of voters in the state think Merrick Garland deserves confirmation hearings for his nomination to the Court, compared to only 24% of voters who are opposed to that. By a 17 point margin voters say they’re less likely to vote for a Senator who is opposed to hearings- only 25% say that stance would make them more inclined to vote for their Senator, compared to 42% who say that would make them less likely to.

Finally we find Thom Tillis with a 27% approval rating this month, to 35% of voters who disapprove of him. Those are actually better approval numbers than we’ve generally found him with.

Full results here

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