Poll: Biden tops Trump by 7 points in key battleground state of North Carolina

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Whitmer met with Biden days before VP announcement: report Maxine Waters says Biden 'can't go home without a Black woman being VP' MORE leads President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE by 7 points in North Carolina, a key battleground state that Trump carried in the 2016 election, according to a new NBC News-Marist poll

The survey found that 51 percent of registered voters say they would vote for Biden in the 2020 election, while 44 percent say they'd back the president. Biden led Trump by 4 points in a similar poll released in March. 

The latest findings came as Trump's approval rating experienced a substantial decline in a state where he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 3 points in 2016. Overall, 41 percent of voters in North Carolina said they approved of the president's performance in the White House, while 55 percent said they disapproved of it, marking a net decline of 11 points over the last four months. 

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In March, a similar NBC News-Marist survey showed that Trump's approval rating was 45 percent, with just 48 percent saying they disapproved of his job performance. 

Biden's lead in the state appears to be partly based on his support from independents. Forty-nine percent of independent respondents say they'd back the former vice president, while 41 percent say they support Trump. Biden also has solid advantages over Trump among women and voters who say they don't like either candidate. 

Among Black voters, 86 percent say they support Biden, while 8 percent endorsed Trump. Trump leads Biden among white voters and white voters without a college degree, according to the poll. He's also viewed by a majority of North Carolina voters as the better-equipped candidate to handle the economy. 

But just 34 percent say Trump is better handled to address the coronavirus pandemic, while 51 percent say Biden is better prepared. 

The findings come less than 100 days away from the 2020 election and as the U.S. experiences a sustained surge in coronavirus infections in various parts of the nation. As of Monday morning, the U.S. had reported 4.2 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and roughly 146,900 deaths from it. 

Polls have shown Biden gaining ground on Trump in a number of battleground states that could decide the election. A separate NBC News poll released on Sunday found Biden leading in Arizona, Michigan and Florida, three states the president won in 2016. The survey was released the same day an Associated Press poll found that that just 32 percent of Americans support Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, representing a new low. 

The latest NBC News-Marist survey was conducted among a population of 1,087 adults, including 882 North Carolina registered voters, between July 14 and July 22. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.