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White House contest tied, expect more presidential candidate visits to N.C.; Cooper's up by 7 points

Posted September 21

If there’s one thing that the latest Public Policy Polling survey of North Carolina shouts, it’s that North Carolina voters will have plenty of opportunities to get up-close and personal with the presidential campaign over the next seven weeks.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump remain tied in the state – 47% each when undecideds are pressed choose – according to the survey of 1,024 likely North Carolina voters contacted Sunday Sept. 18 thorough Tuesday, Sept. 20. Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns see North Carolina as a must-win state in their formula for an Electoral College victory.

While the presidential race is tied, there appears to be some distance growing between Republican incumbent Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper in the race for governor. When undecideds are pressed to choose, Cooper leads McCrory 50% to 43%. In the head-to-head, it’s Cooper with 46%, McCrory with 41% and Libertarian Lon Cecil with 2%. Where four years ago McCrory won election with strong support from independent voters, no barely a third are backing him and nearly half backing Cooper. HB2 continues to hurt McCrory across a wide spectrum of voters. We’ll do a deeper dive into HB2 in a follow-up post.

The survey shows other statewide races remain highly competitive: Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and Democrat Deborah Ross are tied at 41% each. Incumbent Republican Dan Forest has a 3 point lead in the race for lieutenant governor over Democratic challenger Linda Coleman. In the contest for attorney general, Democrat Josh Stein leads Republican Buck Newton 39% to 35%. For state Treasurer, Democrat Dan Blue III leads Republican Dale Folwell 38%-37%.

Some other notable findings: 51% of North Carolinians say they’d vote for incumbent Democrat President Barack Obama over Republican Donald Trump; 35% say if Clinton wins, it will be because the election results were rigged. Among Trump voters, 71% say, if she wins it will be because the results were rigged.

You can click here to see the details results.

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