Yet another poll shows Republicans struggling in North Carolina. The latest SurveyUSA poll shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 50 to 45. Biden crossing the 50 percent threshold should especially worry the GOP because that means Trump could win all of the undecided voters and still lose. Undecided voters tend to break for challengers since they’ve not been sold on an incumbent after four years.
The governor’s race is even worse news. Governor Roy Cooper leads Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest by a whopping 27 points. Cooper is benefitting from approval of his coronavirus response but his approval rating of 65% positive and only 27% negative indicates that voters have a high level of confidence that probably transcends the pandemic bump.
Cooper should probably prepare for a barrage of negative ads to start this summer because nothing short of a major scandal can eat into a lead like that in six months. Since there’s not one, Forest and company will need to manufacture one. If we don’t see those ads in the next six weeks or so, assume the Republican Governor’s Association has thrown in the towel and is spending its money elsewhere.
In the Senate race, Cal Cunningham leads Thom Tillis by two, but 20% of the sample is undecided. Tillis is more popular than he’s been in other polls. Forty-two percent approve of the way Tillis is handling his job while 36% disapprove. Neither candidate has solidified his base. Only 72% of Republicans back Tillis and 73% of Democrats back Cunningham. That said, if Joe Biden beats Donald Trump in the state and Cooper wins by a wide margin, Cunningham will likely be the next Senator from North Carolina.
The news isn’t all bad for Republicans. Trump’s approval rating overall is at 49%, higher than the country as a whole. Independent voters break for both Trump and Tillis by about six points. Other than that, though, it’s another bleak poll for the GOP in North Carolina. In addition, neither the pandemic nor the economy is likely to help the party in the White House. We’re still six months away from the November election and we don’t even know how we’ll vote but Democrats are in a better position right now than Republicans.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >