The news this week in the presidential race centers around the entry of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Both candidates are supposed to offer more moderate Democrats an alternative to Biden or Buttigieg. Patrick is also supposed to energize the African American base. In North Carolina, though, Democrats seem fine with the field and Joe Biden looks poised to win the state in the March primary. At the very least, it’s his to lose. 

Two polls out this week show Biden with commanding leads over his primary opponents in the state. A Fox News poll shows him leading with 37% of the vote while Warren and Sander pull 15% and 14% respectively. Nobody else is in double digits. 

A High Point University poll shows similar results with Biden at 33%, Sanders at 18% and Warren at 13%. Nobody else in that poll gets more than 5%. 

Right now, the race in North Carolina is a three-way contest. I suspect Biden’s lead can be attributed to support from African American and older voters. The race could change as candidates drop out or gain momentum. After Iowa and New Hampshire, we’ll see a shift in the race. The field will narrow considerably and the winners of each primary will pick up supporters because of momentum. Biden is poised to win South Carolina handily. 

Patrick is hoping to change the dynamic in New Hampshire and then grab black voters in South Carolina. Right now, though, I suspect folks are saying “Deval who? Was he in The Godfather?” As for Bloomberg, he’ll try to buy his way into the top tier. I’m skeptical that’s possible.

The Fox News poll shows the general election race to be highly competitive. Biden and Sanders lead Trump and Warren only trails him by a point. Even Buttigieg, who only garners 6% among primary voters, is only trailing by four points. The significant numbers, though, are Trump’s support. He only gets 43% or 44% against any Democrat. He’ll need to get more than that to win the state. 

That poll also gives Thom Tillis his first good polling news in ages. For once, his job approval rating is in positive territory, 40-35. He also leads his primary opponents by a wide margin, garnering more than 50% support. 

The High Point poll is not as kind to Tillis. They show him still underwater. They have his approval at 31%, disapproval at 35%. 

On the Democratic side of that race, the Fox News poll has Senator Erica Smith leading Cal Cunningham 18% to 13%. However, almost 60% choose none of the above or undecided. The race is wide open but the DSCC must be getting a little antsy about their support for Cunningham.

The Fox News poll is kinder to Trump. They show his job approval rating only three points underwater, 47-50 while the High Point poll shows him 12 points in the negative, 40-52. The polls also show the state divide on impeachment with High Point showing 44% believing he should be impeached, 43% believing he shouldn’t. Fox has a total of 45% believing he should be impeached with 47% saying shouldn’t be impeached at all. 

The polls find similar results. North Carolina is an evenly divided state where the majority of voters have moderate views. Democrats like Biden for president but voters overall seem divided on Trump. They’re not pleased with his performance but they aren’t jumping toward any big changes, either. A lot can and probably will happen as result of the impeachment hearings and the early primary states. For now, though, the poll reflects the North Carolina I know. 

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