Trump, Robinson lead big with North Carolina Republicans

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PPP’s new North Carolina Republican poll finds Donald Trump and Mark Robinson with overwhelming leads in their respective races.

For President Trump gets 66% to 12% for Nikki Haley, 9% for Ron DeSantis, 4% for Vivek Ramaswamy, and 3% for Chris Christie.

For Governor Robinson gets 55% to 15% for Bill Graham and 7% for Dale Folwell.

One story the numbers for Governor tell is a tale of two endorsements. By a 33 point margin Republicans say they’re more likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by Donald Trump and you can see the benefits of having received that endorsement in Robinson’s strength.

The support of Thom Tillis is a very different story with the GOP faithful. Only 32% of primary voters have a favorable opinion of him to 38% with a negative one. And by a 12 point margin voters say they’re actually *less* likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by him. That helps to show why Tillis’ backing hasn’t done much to propel Bill Graham in the race for Governor.

Robinson isn’t just ahead based on name recognition. Voters who are familiar with him see him favorably by a 5:1 ratio, while Graham’s is just 1.5:1 and Folwell is actually slightly under water. Graham’s early ad spending doesn’t seem to be getting him much traction. If he is going to make a comeback it’s going to require going negative on Robinson and knocking down some of that reservoir of goodwill he has with the GOP base.

Only two of the Republican hopefuls for the White House are actually popular with primary voters- Trump with an 80/17 favorability rating and DeSantis at 56/28. Haley has moved into second place but has narrow appeal- her favorability is 38/44. Ramaswamy at 34/34 and Christie at 13/71 round out the field.

A look at the education breakdown provides an interesting prism into Trump’s control over this race. Trump’s strength with less well educated GOP voters is well known, and he leads Haley 81-2 among those with only a high school education. But he also leads Haley 40-28 among those with a post graduate education. So the perception that Haley is stronger with well educated and Trump stronger with less well educated voters is true only to a point- Trump has the upper hand with both groups to varying degrees.

It’s going to take a lot to knock Trump and Robinson off their perches over the next eight weeks.

PPP interviewed 619 likely Republican primary voters on January 5th and 6th with a margin of error of +/-3.9%. Full results here

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