Fox News Poll: Close races between Trump and Democrats in North Carolina

North Carolina voters give President Trump mixed reviews on his job performance and about half oppose his impeachment. That leads to tight races in 2020 ballot tests, according to a Fox News Poll of North Carolina voters.

In hypothetical matchups, Joe Biden edges Trump by two points and Bernie Sanders is up by one.  The president tops Elizabeth Warren by one point and Pete Buttigieg by four.  Each race is within the poll’s margin of error. There is added uncertainty considering no candidate hits 50 percent and 11-18 percent are undecided.

Trump topped Hillary Clinton by nearly 4 points in the Tar Heel State. Ninety-four percent of Republicans voted for him in 2016. Today, 91 percent of Republicans approve of the job he’s doing and 89 percent back him in the matchup against Biden.

“As North Carolina has grown in recent years, it’s developed into one of the most competitive states in the country,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who partners with Democrat Chris Anderson on the Fox News Poll. “It’s difficult to think of a scenario where Trump wins re-election without carrying the state.”

Roughly equal numbers of North Carolina voters approve (47 percent) of Trump’s job performance as disapprove (50 percent).

Forty-two percent want Trump impeached and removed from office, 3 percent say impeached but not removed, and 47 percent oppose impeachment. More Republicans (89 percent) oppose impeachment than Democrats favor (79 percent).

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The poll was conducted November 10-13, which includes one night after the House Intelligence Committee held televised hearings Wednesday.

Turning to the Democratic race, strong support among African American voters gives Biden a commanding lead in North Carolina’s primary, which will be held March 3, 2020.

Overall, Biden captures 37 percent among Democratic primary voters, more than double the support of any competitor. Warren receives 15 percent and Sanders 14 percent.

Buttigieg garners 6 percent and Kamala Harris 4 percent. Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang stand at 2 percent apiece.  Michael Bennett, Steve Bullock, and Amy Klobuchar each receive 1 percent.

About half of black voters support Biden (49 percent). That’s more than 30 points higher than Warren and Sanders (12 percent each).

Biden also leads among voters over age 65 (+39 points), moderates (+20), and whites (+11).

The only group Warren wins is self-described “very liberals,” and even here she narrowly tops Sanders (by 4 points) and Biden (by 5 points).

Sanders’ only win is among voters under age 35, where he bests Biden by 10.

“Polling outside of the early states illustrates what broad goodwill Democratic primary voters have for Biden, especially among black voters,” says Anderson. “Places where campaigning is currently less intense, he starts with a built-in advantage that could pay dividends once the primaries move beyond the early states.”

North Carolina Democrats split 45-45 percent when choosing between a candidate who will build on former President Obama’s legacy and one who will take a new and different approach.

Biden is the favorite by 29 points among those wanting to build on Obama’s legacy and by 14 points for those favoring a new approach.

Meanwhile, 77 percent of Democratic primary voters say it is extremely important to nominate a candidate who can beat Trump compared to 41 percent who feel it is extremely important the nominee shares their views on major issues.

North Carolina Senate

By a 40-35 percent margin, North Carolina voters approve of the job Republican incumbent Thom Tillis is doing as their senator. One in four (25 percent) is unsure, including 22 percent of Republicans.

Elected in 2014, Tillis is facing two challengers in the senate primary. He leads with the support of 54 percent of GOP primary voters, while Garland Tucker receives 11 percent and Sandy Smith 4 percent. Twenty-six percent are undecided and 5 percent say other.

Things are more uncertain on the other side, as the three declared Democrats are all under 20 percent:  Erica Smith receives 18 percent, Cal Cunningham 13 percent, and Trevor Fuller 10 percent. Most Democratic primary voters are undecided (49 percent) or say they will support someone else (10 percent).

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Pollpourri

Is the U.S. electorate an equal opportunity employer? Two-thirds of North Carolina voters think the country is ready to elect a woman president. That drops to 54 percent for a Jewish president, 49 percent a Latino/Hispanic president, and 30 percent a gay/lesbian president.

By a 24-point margin, more Democrats than Republicans believe the nation is ready for a woman president. Democrats are also more likely to say Americans are ready to elect someone who is Jewish (by 7 points), Latino/Hispanic (by 11 points), or gay (by 17 points).

Conducted November 10-13, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,504 North Carolina voters who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. Respondents were randomly selected from a statewide voter file, and 669 were screened to identify potential participants in the Democratic primary and 574 the GOP primary. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all registered voters, 3.5 points for Democratic primary voters, and 4 points for GOP primary voters.