New poll: Tillis remains ‘endangered’ incumbent, approval rating trails Trump’s

Heading into the final days of the 2020 election season, a new Meredith College poll finds a majority of North Carolinians (53.6%) disapprove of President Trump’s job performance, which could be troubling news for Republican Senator Thom Tillis’s re-election bid.

The Meredith College polls finds Tillis’s job approval remains low (40.2%) and below that of President Trump (43.9%.)

And while Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has been under fire following the revelation of an affair, he still leads Tillis by five points (43% vs 38%) in the U.S. Senate race.

“It is Tillis’s lukewarm approval among Republicans that makes his reelection campaign so difficult,” said Meredith Poll Director David McLennan. “His recent campaign strategy to criticize Cal Cunningham for his marital infidelity and corruption does not do much to improve his own approval ratings, even among Republicans.”

So, what’s driving voters to the polls?

Almost two-thirds of respondents (65.6%) in the Meredith poll said the government’s response to the pandemic was a significant factor in who they are voting for this year.

And with cases of COVID-19 rising across the state and nation, a majority of North Carolinians (57.9%) favor the Affordable Care Act.

Eighty-three percent (83.4%) of those polled said they wanted the federal government to pass another stimulus package to help deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite efforts this week by the U.S. House and the White House to reach a coronavirus stimulus deal, it’s become unclear Senate Republicans would be willing to move on the massive relief package ahead of the election.

Time to persuade or shift voters’ positions may be running out.

As of Friday morning, more than 2.6 million North Carolinians had already cast their ballot either by mail or by early voting.

Read the full results from the Meredith Poll here.

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