Trump Trails Leading Democrats in North Carolina

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PPP’s newest North Carolina poll finds that Donald Trump continues to be unpopular and that voters in the state are evenly divided on the question of impeaching him.

46% of voters approve of the job Trump is doing to 51% who disapprove of him, in a state that he took by 4 points in 2016. 48% of voters support impeaching Trump, with an equal 48% opposed. At this point disapproval for Trump and support for impeaching Trump have become almost the same thing- only 7% of voters who disapprove of Trump are opposed to impeaching him.

We tested the 5 leading Democratic candidates in head to heads with Trump and he trails 3 of them, while it’s very close against the other two. Joe Biden has a 5 point advantage at 51-46, Elizabeth Warren has a 3 point advantage at 49-46, and Bernie Sanders is up 50-47. Trump and Kamala Harris tie at 47, and Trump has a slight advantage over Pete Buttigieg at 47-46. It’s notable that regardless of the Democrat he’s tested against, Trump always polls at 46-47% in North Carolina.

The Democrats poll at differing levels of support depending on how long they’ve been on the national scene but Trump’s is steady against all of them, suggesting that electability differences between the Democrats are overblown. For instance among voters who support Biden over Trump, Warren also leads Trump 94-2. There’s not some large swath of voters eager to support Joe Biden who are going to go over to Trump if the Democrats nominate Elizabeth Warren instead. There are just more undecided Clinton voters in the match ups between Trump and the Democrats who aren’t Biden.

Biden leads the Democratic primary in the state with 39% to 22% for Warren, 9% for Buttigieg, 6% for Sanders, 3% for Harris and Andrew Yang, 2% for Cory Booker, and 1% each for Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke. There is a massive racial divide. Warren leads Biden 31-26 with white voters, with Buttigieg also entering double digits at 12%. But with African American voters Biden gets 63% to 6% for Sanders with Warren and Buttigieg each getting 3% along with O’Rourke.

There’s actually a hopeful note for Warren about African American voters in this poll though. She is quite popular with them, a 69/9 favorability rating. Black voters like Biden even better- an 84/6 favorability- and that’s why almost two-thirds of them are planning to vote for him right now. But the fact that Warren is by and large at least liked by black voters even if she’s not their first choice at this point suggests there is room for her support to grow in the 5 months before North Carolinians actually vote.

A few other notes from North Carolina:

-Thom Tillis continues to be quite unpopular, with only 22% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 44% who disapprove. In addition to being broadly unpopular with Democrats (9/59) and independents (22/48), he continues to have tepid numbers within his own party. Just 40% of Republicans approve of the job he’s doing to 22% who disapprove, which is why he’s having to beat back a primary challenge from Garland Tucker. Although we didn’t test any head to heads with Tillis this time, a poll we did last month found him trailing Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham 45-43.

-There continues to be overwhelming bipartisan support in North Carolina for nonpartisan redistricting. 62% of voters support it to only 9% who are opposed, and it has the favor of Democrats (69/5), independents (68/9), and Republicans (49/15) alike.

-North Carolinians also continue to strongly support Medicaid expansion. 54% of voters support it to 30% who are opposed with most Democrats (79/9), a majority of independents (52/35), and even a quarter of Republicans (26/54) in favor of it. This issue has been at the heart of the impasse between the Governor and Republicans in the General Assembly on the budget, and voters continue to strongly side with the Governor’s position on it.

Full results here

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