Poll: Biden leads Trump, Cunningham neck and neck with Tillis in North Carolina

Former Vice President Joe Biden has expanded his lead in North Carolina over President Trump, according to a new poll released on Thursday.

The poll also shows Democrat Cal Cunningham with a narrow advantage over Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in the state’s hotly contested Senate race.

The survey from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Biden with a 4-point lead over Trump, 49 percent to 45 percent. That’s the biggest lead for the former vice president ever recorded in a PPP poll of North Carolina voters. 

A similar PPP poll released in April showed Biden and Trump statistically tied at 48 percent and 47 percent respectively.

Trump won the state by more than 3.5 points over then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The race is still close, but the poll suggests that North Carolina is certainly in play for Democrats. The last time a Democrat carried the state in a presidential election was in 2008, when former President Obama was running for his first term. 

The poll is also the latest sign of trouble for Trump in a state that he won in the 2016 presidential race.

A Quinnipiac University poll of Texas voters released on Wednesday showed Biden and Trump running neck and neck in the Lone Star State. Meanwhile, a Fox News poll showed Biden leading by 9 points in Wisconsin, 4 points in Arizona and 2 points in Ohio. Each of those states helped power Trump’s upset victory over Clinton four years ago.

Polls are not predictive of election outcomes and often reflect voter sentiment at a particular moment in time. Still, the surveys come as Trump stares down several crises, including the coronavirus pandemic, staggering unemployment numbers and widespread civil unrest over racial injustice and police brutality following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

In North Carolina’s contested Senate race, Cunningham and Tillis are statistically tied at 43 percent and 41 percent support respectively. Roughly 16 percent of voters remain undecided in that race. 

The race between Cunningham and Tillis is among the most closely watched Senate contests in the country. It’s one of four races — along with contests in Arizona, Colorado and Maine — that both Democrats and Republicans see as pivotal to which party holds control of the Senate in 2021 and beyond. The Cook Political Report currently rates it as a toss-up. 

Polls in the North Carolina Senate race have been all over the map. A poll from the Republican-leaning Civitas Institute released on Wednesday showed Tillis with a 2-point lead over Cunningham. And before that, an East Carolina University survey showed the GOP incumbent with a 1-point lead.

The PPP poll surveyed 949 North Carolina voters from June 2 to 3. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Tags 2020 elections Barack Obama Cal Cunningham coronavirus pandemic Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Biden North Carolina Protests Public Policy Polling Swing state Thom Tillis
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