Poll: ‘Virtual Tie’ Between Trump and Biden in North Carolina

FILE - In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020, left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020. (AP Photo, File)
AP Photo, File

President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden are in a “virtual tie” in North Carolina, according to a poll released by East Carolina University Center for Survey Research on Tuesday.

The poll of 1,149 registered voters in the Tar Heel State conducted between June 22 and June 25 shows former Vice President Bident with 45 percent support compared to 44 percent for President Trump.

Biden’s one point margin is within the poll’s 3.4 percent margin of error.

President Trump won the state’s 15 electoral college votes in 2016 by a margin of 3.8 percent, 50.5 percent to 46.7 percent.

In two other statewide races, the poll found incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) tied with Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham 41 percent to 41 percent, and incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper leading Republican challenger Dan Forest by 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent.

Besides the head-to-head match up questions for the statewide races, the poll focused on questions related to voter attitudes about responses to the coronavirus pandemic by President Trump and Gov. Cooper:

Do you think it was the correct decision to resume dine-in services at restaurants in North Carolina?

Yes: 49 percent
No: 38 percent

Bars in North Carolina remain closed. Do you think bars should be allowed to reopen?

Yes: 33 percent
No: 53 percent

Do you usually wear a face mask when out shopping?

Yes: 76 percent
No: 24 percent

How worried or not worried are you about the current spread of coronavirus cases in North Carolina?

Very Worried: 37 percent
Worried: 24 percent
Slightly worried: 26 percent
Not at all worried: 13 percent

Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Roy Cooper’s handling of the state government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina?

Approve: 53 percent
Disapprove: 34 percent

Do you approve or disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States?

Approve: 41 percent
Disapprove: 51 percent

Thirty five percent of poll respondents self-identified as Republicans, 35 percent self-identified as Democrats, and 26 percent self-identified as Independents.

Ninety percent of the poll’s respondents, or 1,034 out of 1,149, said they voted in the 2016 presidential election. Of those, 44 percent said they voted for Donald Trump while 41 percent said they voted for Hillary Clinton.

Only 73 percent of the poll’s 1,149 respondents said they “will definitely vote” or “will probably vote” in the 2020 general election. Seventeen percent of the poll’s 1,149 respondents said they “definitely will not vote” in the 2020 general election.  The press release accompanying the poll results did not include a cross tabulation of the electoral match up between President Trump and former Vice President Biden based upon the respondent’s likelihood of voting.

On Wednesday, Change Research/CNBC released a presidential preference poll in North Carolina that showed significantly different results than the East Carolina University Center for Survey Research poll.

In that poll, Biden leads Trump by 7 points, 51 percent to 44 percent.

The methodology of the Change Research/CNBC poll is markedly different from that of the ECU poll and most other polls in that it does not make phone calls (either live or IVR) with samples selected from registered voter files:

Change Research conducted a poll of 3,739 likely voters June 26-28, 2020 across 6 competitive battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. A companion national survey of 1,663 likely voters was also conducted June 26-28, 2020. Unless otherwise stated, the results presented in this analysis are among battleground state voters. The margin of error, as traditionally calculated, is ±1.6% for the battleground and ±2.4% for the national poll. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. Our Dynamic Online Sampling establishes and continuously rebalances advertising targets across region, age, gender, race, and partisanship to dynamically deliver large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. Post stratification was done on state, gender, age, race, education, and 2016 presidential vote.

Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com pollster ratings gives Change Research a C- grade.

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