The latest poll of North Carolina shows a tie between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at 43%, but there is room for growth in Clinton’s support that could signal a blue flip of the state in November.
According to PPP:
North Carolina was the second closest state in the country for President in both 2008 and 2012, and PPP’s newest poll finds it remains similarly competitive this time around. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are dead even at 43%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 4%, Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2%, and 7% undecided.
There’s not much evidence in North Carolina of Republican voters having any desire to dump Trump. He has a 72/18 favorability rating among voters in his party and he leads Clinton 85-6 among GOP voters in the full field, just a shade below the 89-6 advantage a generic Republican candidate has among GOP voters in the state.
It’s actually Clinton who still has some more work to do when it comes to party unity. She leads 79-12 among Democrats, compared to the 85-6 lead Trump enjoys with his party. Among Democrats and independents who have a favorable opinion of Bernie Sanders she’s getting 74% of the vote to 11% for Trump, 5% for Stein, 4% for Johnson, and 4% who are undecided. If Clinton could win over just half of those holdout Sanders fans it would take her from the current 43/43 tie to a 48/43 lead in the Tar Heel State. Clinton may have more room to grow than Trump if she can eventually get those reluctant Sanders backers in her column.
The problem for Trump is that he may have hit his ceiling in the state. It is a story that has been visible in both swing state and national polls. Donald Trump’s ceiling of support so far with the general electorate has been at around 43%. Since Trump is already getting nearly 90% support from the state’s Republicans, there is little room for upside with his support.
The odds are very good that when the Clinton campaign starts to woo the state’s Sanders supporters, she is going to build a lead in North Carolina. Donald Trump has shown no signs of flipping blue states. (The Quinnipiac University polls of Ohio and Pennsylvania that showed those states tied were likely completely wrong, as there is no supporting evidence to back up their results.) Trump can’t afford to lose a single red state that supported Romney in 2012.
If Hillary Clinton wins North Carolina and holds all of the solidly blue states, she will be the next president.