A new Elon University poll gives a first-look at views of North Carolina voters as the 2020 presidential election takes form.
In the poll, released Thusday, just thirty-six percent of voters surveyed said they would vote for President Donald Trump if the election were held today. Forty-eight percent of those polled said they would vote for the Democratic candidate.
Who that Democrat may be is another question.
The poll, conducted between Feb. 20 and March 7, asked the state’s voters about 12 people who have declared they are running for the Democratic nomination or are expected to do so.
The poll found former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders had the strongest recognition among North Carolina voters. Biden was the candidate who made the strongest positive impression among voters, with 55 percent. Forty-four percent of those polled said they had a strong positive impression of Sanders.
Forty-eight percent of those polled said they would vote for the Democratic candidate while 36 percent say they would support Trump. Forty-three percent aid they think the Democratic candidate is likely to win while 36 percent said they expect the president will be re-elected.
“Consistent with many others polls, we find President Trump maintains strong loyalty among registered Republicans in North Carolina,” said Jason Husser, poll director and associate professor of political science at Elon University, in a statement on the poll. “However, unaffiliated voters are currently breaking toward a hypothetical Democratic candidate by a margin that could portend serious trouble for the president’s 2020 coalition.”
“That said, I expect many of those voters will change their minds as the Democratic nominee moves from hypothetical to actual,” Husser said. “The extent of this change will largely shape what we see in North Carolina over the next 20 months.”
Read the full results – and information about methodology – here.