PPP’s latest poll finds competitive races up and down the ballot for the 2016 election cycle in North Carolina. While Governor McCrory and especially Senator Burr seem favored for reelection, the presence of Trump at the top of the ticket could prove to be an albatross for their candidacies.
Numbers in parentheses = change in support from last month.
44% Clinton (+1)
42% Trump (-2)
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 2, an improvement from last month. Trump’s performance in general election polling has taken a hit over the past month and North Carolina is no exception. Trump isn’t getting the kind of crossover support from Democrats or support from independents he needs to win statewide.
But what’s really hurting him is the lack of support from Republicans. If Trump can just consolidate the Republican vote, he has an excellent chance of winning the state. Of course, he would still have a long way to go to winning nationwide.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is actually the stronger general election candidate. PPP shows Cruz actually doing one point worse than Trump. Kasich is by far the strongest general election candidate on the GOP side.
40% Burr (-3)
35% Ross (-2)
Burr leads Democratic Senate nominee Deborah Ross by 5 points. It’s not uncommon for primary winners to get a boost in name recognition and support following a victory, and that’s possibly what we’re seeing here right now. The support for Haugh should decrease as the election cycle goes on.
42% McCrory (-1)
40% Cooper (-1)
There’s been no real change in the governor’s race. This one should go down to the wire. Both candidates have strengths and weaknesses and the ability to persuade people to support them. The support for the Libertarian Cecil should decrease as the election cycle goes on. It’s unlikely either candidate will disproportionately benefit from this.
Lieutenant Governor Race
Another race that will go down to the wire. There’s no one in North Carolina whose political outcome is more tied to what’s going on nationally. If Democrats get a good turnout this November, Forest will have trouble getting reelected.
Republicans really want to pick up this Council of State position, but Democrats recruited a strong candidate in Dan Blue III. This is another race that will be determined by the national environment.
Stein, who is resigning from the NC Senate to focus on his Attorney General campaign, just barely leads State Senator Buck Newton. Whoever wins here could be in a solid position to run for governor someday. This is yet another race where the national environment will be decisive. Stein should be a little concerned about his narrow primary win over Marcus Williams last week and whether that points to problems for him down the road.
The bottom line – there’s a ton at stake this year in North Carolina. If Republicans nominate Trump, Democrats have a good chance of repeating their massive victories of 2008. But the races are close enough that a Republican sweep is also possible. It’s just too early to tell at this point.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: email@example.com.