Budd surges in final stretch of North Carolina Senate primary: poll
Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) is surging ahead of former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in the final stretch before the state’s Senate primary, according to a new poll from The Hill and Emerson College.
In a 14-way primary match-up, Budd tops the field at 43 percent, while McCrory trails in a distant second place at 16 percent. The only other Republican in the race to notch double-digit support is former Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who sits at about 12 percent support.
The poll suggests that Budd, who once trailed McCrory in early polls, is now the primary’s clear front-runner and is poised to easily win the 30-plus percent of the vote needed to win the GOP Senate nomination outright in the May 17 primary election.
Budd’s lead in the race has expanded significantly over the past month. A similar poll conducted in early April found Budd leading the field with 38 percent support to McCrory’s 22 percent.
Aiding Budd’s chances in the primary is the support of former President Trump, who endorsed him last summer. Sixty-one percent of Republican primary voters said that they are more likely to vote for a candidate who is backed by Trump, while only 14 percent said that his support makes them less likely to vote for a candidate.
Among those who said that they are more likely to vote for a candidate with Trump’s endorsement, 52 percent support Budd, according to the poll from The Hill and Emerson College.
The poll also suggests that Budd is the early favorite to beat presumptive Democratic Senate nominee Cheri Beasley in November. In a hypothetical head-to-head match-up, Budd outperforms Beasley 48 percent to 41 percent, with 10 percent of voters currently undecided.
In a general election battle against McCrory, however, Beasley has the edge. The poll found her leading the former governor in a head-to-head match-up 44 percent to 39 percent. Another 17 percent said they would be undecided in such a scenario.
The poll from The Hill and Emerson College poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters in North Carolina from May 7-9, including 467 Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the full sample of voters is plus or minus 3 percentage points, and it is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for the sample of GOP primary voters alone.
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