WRAL News poll: Trump, Clinton poised to win NC

Posted March 8, 2016
Updated March 9, 2016

— Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have sizable leads in the presidential race among likely North Carolina voters a week out from the state's primary, according to a WRAL News poll released Tuesday.

SurveyUSA polled 1,555 likely voters statewide – almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats – between Friday and Monday to gauge opinions leading up to the March 15 primary. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Trump tops U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 41 percent to 27 percent among likely GOP voters. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ohio Gov. John Kasich trail far behind, at 14 and 11 percent, respectively.

The billionaire businessman Trump, who is scheduled to hold a rally in Fayetteville on Wednesday night, outdistances Cruz across almost every demographic breakdown, with huge leads among male voters, older voters, the working class, gun owners and those who never went to college. He also has a surprising 42-31 percent advantage among self-described evangelicals, a group that has boosted Cruz's candidacy in other states.

Cruz, who spoke at a Raleigh-area church on Tuesday, holds a narrow lead over Trump among GOP voters who say they are part of the tea party movement, and the two men are tied among voters ages 18 to 34.

SurveyUSA noted that a strong showing by Cruz in Tuesday's Michigan primary could eat into Trump's lead in North Carolina, noting a bandwagon effect in Cruz's polling after he won caucuses in Kansas and Maine on Saturday and finished close behind Trump in the Louisiana and Kentucky primaries. Likely North Carolina voters polled before the Saturday election results were known favored Trump by a 42-23 percent margin, but the margin shrank to 39-33 percent in Trump's favor in polling done after Saturday.

WRAL News poll: Primary 2016It shows some vulnerability on Trump's part, and now Ted Cruz is proving he can win more than just his home state. He's got a record," said David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College in Raleigh. "Today will be big because there's voting going on in Mississippi and Michigan."

McLennon said voter turnout will likely make or break Trump's chances in North Carolina.

"We've seen some good early voting numbers in North Carolina. A bigger turnout on the Republican side could mean a really good day for Donald Trump," he said.

On the Democratic side, Clinton holds a commanding lead of 57 percent to 34 percent among likely Democratic voters over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

WRAL News poll: Primary 2016Clinton has sizable leads among both men and women and wins by a landslide among black voters, 74 percent to 20 percent. Sanders, meanwhile, holds a distinct advantage among the relatively small number of Latinos surveyed.

As he has shown throughout his campaign, Sanders' strength lies with young voters. He holds a 64-34 percent advantage among voters ages 18 to 34 in the WRAL News poll. Once voters hit age 35, however, the polling clearly favors Clinton, with anywhere from 18- to 51-point margins in her favor.

Sanders also has a 17- to 20-point lead among independent voters who plan to cast a Democratic ballot in the primary, but hard-core Democrats back Clinton by even larger margins.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jonathan Klein Mar 14, 2016
    user avatar

    On Fighting for the Poor:

    Sanders rips in to a Republican budget director over proposed tax breaks for the rich and cuts to social programs.

    I couldn’t find anything.

  • Jonathan Klein Mar 14, 2016
    user avatar

    African-American Issues:

    The video shows Sanders being arrested in 1963 in Chicago protesting segregation.

    Clinton refers to gang members, often poor african-american youths, as “superpredators” that have to be ‘brought to heel’. A freudian slip?
    She also worked on the campaign for Barry Goldwater, who voted against the Civil Rights Act, something she is “proud” of.

    Wall Street Speech Transcripts:

    Sanders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq8qInIhfCk Sanders says he will release any transcripts he can find, and has never given a speech to Wall Street.

    Clinton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Fxoh9-9HY Clinton avoids the issue, saying she won’t release the transcripts of three speeches she gave to the Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs. (For which she was paid $675,000.) Goldman Sachs has also contributed large amounts to

  • Jonathan Klein Mar 14, 2016
    user avatar

    Here are links to a few videos of Sanders and Clinton on the issues:

    Iraq war:

    Sanders voted against the war, citing several possible negative consequences (which came to pass) and proposed further diplomacy.

    Clinton voted for the war. The video shows that in explaining her vote she parroted Bush’s lies about WMD and terrorism, which were totally baseless, and were used to justify the invasion.

    Trade Agreements:

    Sanders and Clinton:
    The video shows that Sanders has been consistently opposed to free trade agreements with low wage countries in order to protect American workers. Whereas Clinton strongly supported the agreements, then flipped her opinion for political convenience during her presidential runs.

  • Kioko Fulgarion Mar 9, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    He hasn't changed in his ideals once, idk what kool aid you're drinking but Cruz has flip flopped so much idk how anyone can see him as a truthful person.

  • Marty Baker Mar 9, 2016
    user avatar

    I think it's a shame, and very scary, that conservatives finally have a conservative in the race that will fight liberalism, do what he says he will do, and would install a true conservative supreme court justice which will affect the country for decades to come, and some clown like Donald trump is on a roll. I understand we are angry at being stabbed in the back by republicans, but why would we let anger cloud our judgement so badly? What happened to our morals? Donald trump will say anything at anytime to anyone, no matter how vulgar or how opposite it is to what he's said before. I honestly believe if he were to get elected, it would be worse than any democrat has ever been. At least with Hillary, you know what you'll get even if you don't like it. For all you so called conservatives that believe that trump will do what you think is right, don't come back in a year and say you can't believe how horrible he's been. HE'S MADE IT CLEAR WHO HE IS AND THAT HE'LL SAY ANYTHING. God help us

  • Fanny Chmelar Mar 9, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Mathematics is your friend here. It shows itself in the '3.8 percentage points margin of error'.
    Complaining about bias would apply here moreso than pure mathematics.

  • Brandon White Mar 9, 2016
    user avatar

    Very good point Shannon, she is the Manchurian candidate of Washington cartel. She is merely a puppet of the establishment and lobbyists. But then we have to ask ourselves, Bernie has spent many years in Washington too.

  • Sam Adams Mar 9, 2016
    user avatar

    Yeah, those polls in Michigan were pretty accurate too. Hillary was supposed to win there easily. Just saying.

  • Shannon Speil Mar 9, 2016
    user avatar

    Clinton can win the RED states but has to struggle with the he BLUE states? And she's favored to beat a Republican candidate how?

  • Rainey Blue Mar 8, 2016
    user avatar

    Well, that may be so but Hillary Clinton will not be getting my vote. No way. No how.
    Too many lies, too many scandals with her as 1st lady (potus), 1st lady of Arkansas, Secretary of State pay to play with her Clinton Foundation....no. I'll pass on this candidate! Do your research folks, don't be a low-information voter. This woman is NOT what she claims to be.