Hillary Clinton is pounding Donald Trump in North Carolina’s early voting, according to Public Policy Polling’s (PPP) newest poll. Among the early voters, 63 percent went to Clinton, and only 37 percent voted for Trump. But there is a surprise tucked in the PPP poll.
With so much attention paid to third-party alternatives to Trump and Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson scooped up a mere half of one percent of the vote.
In this race, Clinton currently leads Trump, 47 to 44 percent. Gary Johnson carried 4 percent. With Clinton winning among early voters and pulling in substantial funding, she can support the down-ballot races now.
Roy Cooper is running against Pat McCrory for governor, 61 to 33 percent. Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Lon Cecil took 1 percent. Among those who have cast the ballots, Deborah Ross is leading Richard Burr for Senator, 52 to 34 percent, Libertarian Sean Haugh carried 7 percent.
If the presidential race was head-to-head, Clinton would lead Trump by 3 percentage points, 49 to 46 percent. The shift occurred after the third and last presidential debate. Just a month ago, each candidate had identical favorability ratings; 40 percent favorable and 55 percent unfavorable.
Since then, Clinton jumped ahead 6 points. Now 43 percent of the voters see her positively and 52 percent see her negatively. Even with all the negative press and Trump’s own blunders, voters see him only slightly less positively 39 percent to 56 percent negatively.
Pollsters believe that the increases in the Clinton North Carolina camp relate more to people warming to her and less to do with voters cooling to Trump.
In Florida, Rick Scott handled Hurricane Matthew well, and that has improved his positive ratings. A full 45 percent of the voters approve of him, 38 percent disapprove. In North Carolina, there is a parallel to Scott’s hurricane. It is HB2, the bill that eliminates anti-discrimination protections in public restrooms. The McCory-Cooper race looks more competitive now than it did a month ago.
McCrory has had a strong negative rating ever since July 2013. Then, it suddenly shifted to 45 positive percent approval and 43 percent disapproval. Now he is edging closer to Cooper, 44 to 46 percentage points.
North Carolina’s senate race is close. Richard Burr holds at 42 percent to Deborah Ross’ 41 percent. Third party Sean Haugh took 6 percent of the vote. The negative races are affecting both candidates. Just 33 percent of the voters approve of Burr, and 41 disapprove. Ross’s favorability has the very same numbers; 33 to 41 percent.
On the up side, undecided voters support both Clinton and Cooper 13 percent over their challengers. If Ross continues gaining coverage and can ride the coattails of the other races, she might be able to pull off a win.
In a generic legislative ballot, Democrats lead 46 percent to Republican’s 42 percent. That should translate into gaining enough seats for them to keep Republicans below a veto-proof house majority.
PPP surveyed 875 likely voters from October 21st and 22nd. The margin of error is 3.3 +/- percent.
For the full poll results, click here.