WRAL poll: Clinton, Trump in virtual tie in NC

Posted October 4, 2016

Trump, Clinton trade jabs

— Five weeks from the Nov. 8 election, North Carolina remains a toss-up in the presidential race, according to a WRAL News poll released Tuesday.

Democrat Hillary Clinton edges Republic Donald Trump 46 to 44 percent, well within the margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points in the Survey USA poll. The firm contacted 656 likely voters statewide between last Thursday and Monday to compile its results.

Libertarian Gary Johnson was at 5 percent support in the poll, and 6 percent of voters remain undecided.

Clinton, Trump and their surrogates have been crisscrossing North Carolina for weeks, trying to shore up support and pull as many of the undecided voters into their respective camps. First lady Michelle Obama was in Raleigh and Charlotte on Tuesday to build support for Clinton among younger voters.

Clinton already has a 14-point lead over Trump among voters ages 18 to 34, according to the poll, while Trump has a 12-point lead among those 35 to 49. Clinton has a slight 5-point lead among voters 50 and older.

WRAL News Poll image Highlights of WRAL News poll

The presidential race also breaks along racial, gender and socio-economic lines, the poll results show.

Trump has clear advantages with whites and men, while Clinton is overwhelmingly favored by black voters and has a solid lead among women. Voters with at least a college degree back Clinton 57 to 34 percent, while those with only a high school diploma or some college education break for Trump by 10 to 18 points.

Clinton leads Trump 64 to 27 percent among urban voters and holds a 9-point edge in the suburbs, but rural voters support Trump by a 53 to 35 percent margin. Trump also holds a slight edge among voters earning $40,000 or more a year, while Clinton has a 17-point lead among people making less than that.

The economy and national security are far and away the top concerns among voters, with 59 percent of respondents calling one or the other the top issue facing the U.S. Immigration and health care tied for third at 11 percent each.

Trump, whose signature campaign themes have been building a wall along the Mexican border and stricter screening of immigrants to reduce the chances of foreign terrorists getting to the U.S., scores high among voters who are most concerned with national security and illegal immigration. He had a 20-point lead among those who ranked national security as the most pressing issue facing the country, and more than three-quarters of those who ranked immigration as their top concern back Trump.

Meanwhile, Clinton has an 8-point lead among those voters most concerned about the economy a 39-point lead among those who say health care is the biggest national issue.

Despite that, respondents split evenly when asked which candidate would best protect national security, and they gave Trump a slight edge, 48 to 46 percent, when asked which candidate would do the best at expanding the economy, creating jobs and improving trade. Trump also had a small lead, 48 to 44 percent, when asked which candidate would best handle immigration issues.


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  • Kenneth Jones Oct 4, 2016
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    It's a shame HRC has to spend so much money with the media backing her up just to break even.

  • Liz Paley Oct 4, 2016
    user avatar

    Barney Gravel, polls take sample size into account, and it's one of the reasons polls have margins of error. Polls also have assorted biases, which is why track record and methodology are important. Fivethirtyeight.com gives Survey USA an A for its reliability record; that's not an A+, but it's very good. Selzer & Co. (A+) also released a NC poll recently that has HRC narrowly ahead of DT, 44% to 43%, with a sample size of 805 and a margin of error or 3.5%. Margin of error of 3.5% means that if the survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the percentages shown by more than plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Check out NC polls here: http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/north-carolina/ ; and pollster ratings here: http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/

  • Barney Gravel Oct 4, 2016
    user avatar

    656 voters is a very small, sample population. I doubt the poll's merit.