A new poll released on Wednesday shows that Hillary Clinton is on the verge of making history in the traditionally red state of North Carolina. The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling and shows Trump earning 45 percent of the vote compared to Clinton’s 43 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson earned 6 percent of the vote. In a two-way race, both Trump and Clinton are tied at 47 percent each. This is VERY bad news for Republicans hoping to hang on to states that always vote Republican. The loss of even one would all but guarantee a Clinton win in November.
Neither Clinton nor Trump are particularly well-liked in North Carolina. In terms of favorability, both candidates have a 40 percent approval rating. Fifty-five percent of voters do not approve of either candidate. At least in Clinton’s case, the high negatives seem to be a matter of personality more than policy. Fifty-one percent of voters said that they would prefer Barack Obama to be president over Trump’s 46 percent. If Clinton is able to convince voters that she will uphold President Obama’s legacy, then that could give her an advantage over Trump.
When we look at undecided voters, we see that Clinton’s negatives might hurt her more than Trump’s hurt him. Among undecided voters, 62 percent of them say they would prefer four more years of President Obama over the 5 percent who support Trump. Perhaps, the president’s strong endorsement will be enough to sway some of the undecided voters to his former Secretary of State’s cause.
Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns is continuing to cause him problems, with 64 percent of voters saying he should release them. However, we do not know if his decision to release those returns will be a deciding factor for voters.
One issue that Clinton will have to contend with is the fact that, even if she wins, many voters will believe her victory to be illegitimate due to voter fraud. A mere 17 percent of voters say Clinton’s hypothetical victory would be due to receiving more votes. Seventy-one percent of voters say that her victory would be because the election was rigged in her favor.
Voter fraud has been a frequent concern of Trump and the GOP in general. Many states where the GOP holds power have enacted voter ID laws to combat the alleged problem of voter fraud.
In addition to the presidential election, this poll also gave some interesting insight into voter opinions on the controversial House Bill Two. The bill, which many consider anti-LGBT, is opposed by 47 percent of those surveyed. Only 33 percent support it with 20 percent undecided.
A firm majority of voters, 59 percent, said they believe that HB2 is hurting the state. Only 23 percent think it is helping. Fifty-nine percent believe it is harmful to the economy and 10 percent say it has helped the economy.
In terms of the state’s reputation, 53 percent say the law has had a negative impact on how the rest of the country views North Carolina. In terms of safety, opinion is a bit more divided. Forty-nine percent of voters say the law has not made North Carolina safer and 31 percent say it has made the state safer. In terms of repeal, 52 percent of voters say the law should be overturned.
As with all polls, take this one with a grain of salt, but right now things are looking a bit better for Trump. Of course, there’s still several weeks until the election so things could easily turn around.