With early voting starting today in North Carolina, two polls give a little insight into where the election stands in the state. PPP and High Point University both show Joe Biden leading among likely voters. However, the polls were conducted in the midst of the Iowa caucus mess and before the New Hampshire results. One thing both show, though, is a surging Michael Bloomberg. 

The PPP poll has Biden at 25%, Sanders at 16%, Bloomberg at 14%, Warren at 12% and everybody else below 10%. In January, Bloomberg was only at 8%. His surge seems to have come largely at the expense of Biden who was at 31%. The results in New Hampshire and Iowa may have shifted these numbers even more dramatically. 

In the High Point poll, Biden is at 24%, Sanders at 20%, Bloomberg at 16% and Warren is at 11% among likely voters. The poll offers a registered voter sample that gives Sanders the lead with 25% and Biden with 19%. In other words, high turnout should benefit Sanders. 

Bloomberg is building a formidable operation in the state. It’s the third largest state in the Super Tuesday primary and could bring Bloomberg a lot of delegates. Today, former Governor Bev Perdue announced she’s endorsing him and he’s making his third visit to the state today to kick off early voting. He’s been especially aggressive courting African American voters, announcing initiatives for HBCUs and rolling our endorsements from members of the Congressional Black Caucus. In essence, he’s directly attacking Biden’s firewall.

In the US Senate primary, Cal Cunningham has a solid lead in both polls. HPU has him at 37% to Erica Smith’s 11%. In the PPP poll, Cunningham is at 29% and Smith is at 10%. With a crowded primary, more than 30% of the vote wins the primary outright and avoids a runoff. The polls were done before a dark-money Republican group began running ads for Smith.

The HPU polls shows Dan Forest solidly in the lead for the GOP nomination for governor. The PPP poll shows nobody knows anybody in the Democratic Council of State primaries, meaning the lieutenant governor and treasurer races are wide open. 

With the shift in the presidential primary, early voting may be a little slow. Several people have let me know that they still don’t know who to support for president. They’re waiting to see what happens in Nevada and South Carolina. Most of those are people who don’t want Sanders and aren’t convinced Biden is still viable. They’re looking to see if Bloomberg or Klobuchar can pull off a win. 

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