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NBC poll: Clinton, Ross, Cooper lead in NC

Posted August 12

Decision 2016 graphic

— An NBC News - Wall Street Journal poll conducted by the Marist Institute shows Democrats Hillary Clinton, Deborah Ross and Roy Cooper leading their races for the state's presidential electors, U.S. Senate and governor, making it one of the most favorable such surveys of registered voters issued this summer.

The survey found Clinton leads Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump 45 percent to 36 percent among registered voters, with Cooper leading Republican Gov. Pat McCrory 51 percent to 44 percent.

Marist surveyed 921 registered voters for the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. That means Ross' 2-point lead over Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is a statistical tie, and it's worth noting this is the first poll monitored by Real Clear Politics this summer that gives Ross any sort of lead.

"I'm surprised that Deborah Ross is polling so well, but I think I've seen enough to suggest it could be a real thing," said Steve Greene, a North Carolina State University professor of political science.

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NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll by the Marist Institute

Nabbing a lead – albeit one well inside the margin of error – will help Ross win backing from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and other national backers, Greene said. By this stage in 2008, Greene points out, the DSCC had already poured money into a set of ads that ripped Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole and paved the way for Democrat Kay Hagan, a not very well known state senator at the time, to unseat her.

Success in the polls, Greene suggested, could help Ross bring in the full backing of national political groups.

"She's shown she's a good bet," he said.

Carter Wrenn, a longtime Republican strategist, said that Ross' uptick may have more to do with Clinton gaining ground on Trump than anything that's happened with regard to the Senate campaign.

Clinton makes gains

In the race for president, Clinton grew her support by 3 points among registered voters between Marist's July and August surveys. Trump remained stagnant at 36 percent.

Greene cautioned that Marist has a reputation of being one of the more favorable polls for Clinton. In fact, the 9-point margin is one of the biggest advantages any of the polls tracked by Real Clear Politics gives the Democrat.

"I'd be surprised if she wins North Carolina by anything close to 9 points," Greene said.

Wrenn said that, as a Republican, the poll makes him nervous.

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NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll by the Marist Institute

"My reaction to it was, 'Boy, that could really be bad news,'" he said.

There have been suggestions all summer, he said, that a national wave could be building behind Democrats due to Trump's high unfavorable ratings. This latest poll, he said, indicates that wave could be real.

"When that happens, it wouldn't be shocking to see Cooper and Ross to be lifted, too," he said.

In the race for governor, Marist gives Cooper a 7-point lead over McCrory. Polls in that race have swung between advantages for either candidate, but overall poll averages suggest a close campaign between the two men.

Greene said a tight race makes sense, given that McCrory has moved away from the center-right banner that led him to success in 2012.

"Pat McCrory 2016 is a far right captive of the legislature," Greene said, suggesting that he was going to need to rely more heavily on turning out Republican voters this year.

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NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll by the Marist Institute

23 Comments

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  • Raleigh Rose Aug 15, 11:54 a.m.
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    nevermind-I need better reading comprehension skills!

  • Raleigh Rose Aug 15, 11:53 a.m.
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    You mean when W was in office and the recession started?

  • Amy Whaley Aug 14, 6:13 p.m.
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    don't trust nbc at all since they got busted editing the video in the zimmerman case.

  • Justin Briller Aug 14, 4:34 p.m.
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    NBC pole.....BAHAHAHAHHAHA

  • Tony Biancardi Aug 13, 1:38 p.m.
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    It's really simple, more people are starting to realize what having an unstable, dysfunctional person like Trump as president would mean.

  • Bobby Lee Jimmy Billy Aug 13, 12:46 p.m.
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    Wrong Alfred - you're talking about Alfred E. Neuman.
    "What - me worry"

  • Bobby Lee Jimmy Billy Aug 13, 12:41 p.m.
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    Sounds like you want to go back to the "glory years" when we were shedding 750,000 jobs a month (that would be 2007 up to 2008) if your memory is on the blink!

  • Glenda Hightower Aug 13, 10:27 a.m.
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    Bet you didn't trust their polls in 2012 either. Thought Romney was going to win by a landslide. I trust 538, Nate Silver's site. They've been right for years. Go check it out.

  • Paul Donovan Aug 13, 10:12 a.m.
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    So PPP, a Democrat Polling organization, has it at +1 Clinton, Civitas, a Republican leaning organization has it at +4 Trump and NBC has it at +9 Clinton. Hmm, wonder which one is the outlier.

  • Paul Donovan Aug 13, 10:05 a.m.
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    Don't trust any polls coming from NBC. They are historically so wrong and agenda driven

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