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Tillis trails Democratic challenger by 7 points in North Carolina poll

Tillis trails Democratic challenger by 7 points in North Carolina poll
© Greg Nash

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 21 senators MORE (R-N.C.) trails one of his Democratic challengers by 7 points in North Carolina’s 2020 Senate race, according to a new poll.

Tillis, one of the more endangered Senate Republicans running for reelection, trails state Sen. Erica Smith (D) 46 percent to 39 percent in an Emerson College poll released Tuesday, while 15 percent of voters are undecided.

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Democrats view North Carolina’s Senate seat as a potential pickup opportunity in 2020 as the party seeks to chip away at the GOP’s 53-47 majority in the upper chamber.

Beyond Smith, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller has also jumped into the Democratic primary to challenge Tillis. Support for Fuller was not polled in the Emerson College survey.

In a sign Republicans across the ticket may face trouble in the Tar Heel State, President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE also trails multiple Democratic challengers, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  MORE (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE in the poll.

Trump won North Carolina in 2016 by 3.6 points, and the state has trended Republican in past presidential cycles, but Democrats view the state as a top battleground for the Senate and White House next year.

Tillis, a former North Carolina state House Speaker, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 when he unseated Democrat Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganInfighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms MORE. Rumors have mounted of a possible primary challenge against the first-term Republican over criticisms he’s made about the Trump White House. Businessman Garland Tucker has already declared he will challenge Tillis for the GOP nomination.

Beyond North Carolina, Democrats are eyeing Republican-held Senate seats in Maine, Colorado, Iowa and Arizona.

The Emerson College poll surveyed 932 registered voters between May 31 and June 3 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.