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Latest polling in NC shows close three-way race in Dem presidential primary

Pollster: “Trump’s done” if Democrats unify behind a nominee

The extremely reliable experts at Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling are out with a new update on the races in North Carolina ahead of next week’s primary election. One of the headline findings: Joe Biden may be rebounding.

Here’s the release:

PPP’s newest North Carolina poll finds a close three way race in the state with Joe Biden at 23%, Bernie Sanders at 20%, and Michael Bloomberg at 17% all clustered close together. Elizabeth Warren at 11%, Pete Buttigieg at 9%, Amy Klobuchar at 4%, Tom Steyer at 3%, and Tulsi Gabbard at 1% round out the field. Compared to PPP’s last poll of North Carolina, conducted for a private client two weeks ago, Biden has gained 4 points, Sanders has gained 2 points, and Bloomberg has dropped a point. This is the first time in PPP’s polling that Bloomberg has stopped going up and Biden has stopped going down after an extended run where Bloomberg made further gains at Biden’s expense in every new poll.

Biden owes his small advantage to support from African American voters. He gets 36% with them to 21% for Bloomberg, and 16% for Sanders, with no one else in double digits. That helps him overcome the edge Sanders has with white voters, where he gets 22% to 18% for Biden, 15% for Bloomberg, 14% for Buttigieg, and 12% for Warren.

Biden leads the way when it comes to overall favorability among the Democratic field in the state. 61% of voters see him positively to 22% with a negative view. He is followed by Warren at 56/27, Buttigieg at 55/22, Sanders at 51/34, Klobuchar at 48/22, and Bloomberg at 36/43.

The numbers in North Carolina show the typical splits between the candidates along generational and party lines:

-Biden gets 32% with seniors, then goes down to 26% among middle aged voters, and 13% with younger voters. Bloomberg shows similar trends, getting 25% among seniors, then going down to 18% among middle aged voters, and 11% with younger voters. Sanders has the opposite trend, getting 33% with younger voters and 17% with middle aged voters, but just 8% among seniors.

-Biden actually has a double digit lead with Democrats, getting 28% to 18% for Bloomberg and 17% for Sanders. But 27% of likely primary voters are unaffiliated and with them Sanders leads with 28% to 16% for Bloomberg, and 15% for Buttigieg. Biden comes in fourth at 11%.

North Carolina’s Senate primary doesn’t look like it’s going to be much of a contest. Cal Cunningham was already up by 19 points on PPP’s last poll of the race and now his lead has grown to 27 points. He gets 45% to 18% for Erica Smith, with Trevor Fuller at 4%, Steve Swenson at 2%, and Atul Goel at 1% rounding out the field. Cunningham has a 55/10 favorability rating.

PPP interviewed 852 likely Democratic primary voters by phone and text on February 23rd and 24th and the margin of error is +/-3.4%. Full results here

PPP pollster Tom Jensen provided a sneak preview of the North Carolina results and offered several other assessments regarding the 2020 elections at last night’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation (see the video below). In particular, Jensen expressed the belief that Donald Trump’s favorability numbers are such that his only path to victory in November — particularly in key swing states like Arizona, Wisconsin and North Carolina — depends on progressive voters failing to unite around the Democratic ticket. If progressives do stick together, Jensen said, “Trump’s done.” Jensen’s initial remarks can be found at around the 12 minute mark.

Preview North Carolina’s Super Tuesday

Posted by NC Policy Watch on Monday, February 24, 2020

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