By Ben Kamisar
Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump aide: 'Hillary is the one who’s got a gender gap' WaPo editorial board: 'No excuse' for Clinton email practices Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE lags behind eight Republican contenders in hypothetical head to head match-ups in North Carolina, including GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump aide: 'Hillary is the one who’s got a gender gap' Trump aide: Picking a woman or minority as VP would be 'pandering' Trump adviser: He will 'soften' on Muslim ban MORE.
Trump tops Clinton 45 percent to 42 percent in the latest survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released Wednesday.
While Trump's lead is within the poll's overall 3-point margin of error, two Republicans, Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), lead Clinton outright in hypothetical contests.
Carly Fiorina, Gov. John Kasich (Ohio), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) and Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.) also lead Clinton by 3 percent or less head to head.
Clinton, a former secretary of State, leads both Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.), while she’s tied with former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) at 42 percent.
Democratic contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) polls similarly against the Republican field, on average about 1.5 percent worse than Clinton, the party front-runner, according to PPP’s average.
North Carolina is considered a swing state in the general election. GOP nominee Mitt Romney won it by a small margin in 2012, four years after then-Illlinois Sen. Barack Obama won his own slight victory.
Trump continues to add to his large lead in the state.
His lead on the GOP side has grown 8 percentage points over the past month, with support now from 24 percent of Republican primary voters. Carson currently polls second at 14 percent, followed by Cruz at 10 percent, Rubio at 9 percent, and Fiorina, Huckabee and Walker at 6 percent.
Carson’s stock rose 5 percentage points over the past month, while Cruz gained 4 percentage points.
The poll shows significant declines in support for Walker, Huckabee, Paul and Christie. Walker’s support dropped 6 percent, Huckabee is down 5 percent, Paul lost 4 percent and Christie fell 3 percent.
Paul’s favorability ratings also dove underwater. Despite a net 27-percentage-point favorability rating in PPP’s July poll, his unfavorable rating is now 16 points more than his favorability.
For Democrats, Clinton’s strong primary lead over Sanders has remained. She has the support of 55 percent of Democratic primary voters, compared to Sanders’s 19 percent, former Sen. Jim Webb’s (Va.) 5 percent, former Gov. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) and former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (Md.) 2 percent, and campaign finance reform advocate Lawrence Lessig’s 1 percent.
The poll of 957 voters between Aug. 12-16 has an overall margin of error of 3.2 percent, a 4.5 percent margin for Democratic primary results, and a 4.9 percent margin for Republican primary results.