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Mason-Dixon Poll Shows Hunt Holds Lead, Hayes Gaining

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RALEIGH — July 25, 1996 - 6:00 p.m. EDT

Gov. Jim Hunt remains a favorite for re-election in November, according to a WRAL-TV5 News poll released today.

Hunt leads his Republican challenger, state Rep. Robin Hayes, 52 percent to 35 percent, with 13 percent of voters undecided.

Hunt had a strong showing throughout the state, leading in all six regions and running at 50 percent or better in all but one -- the Triad. Hunt and Hayes split the white vote, but Hunt builds a lead on his 88 to 6 percent advantage among black voters.

The poll of 812 registered voters statewide was conducted July 18-20 by Mason Dixon Political/Media Research.

The same poll also asked voters about the race between Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms and Democratic challenger Harvey Gantt. In that race, Gantt is whittling away at the incumbent's lead.

In February of this year, Helms held a 12-point lead over Gantt. The results of a May poll showed that lead down to eight-points, and numbers just in show that support for Gantt has pushed to within six-points of that for Helms.

White males seem to strongly favor Helms while white females are more evenly divided.

Blacks of both sexes overwhelmingly support Gantt in the most recent poll

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