A new poll of North Carolina shows Hillary Clinton leading a very close race 44%-42% over Donald Trump.
Among North Carolina voters likely to cast ballots in November’s presidential election, 44% currently support Clinton and 42% back Trump. Another 7% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 1% name another candidate, and 6% are undecided.
Trump does nearly as well as Clinton in getting the backing of fellow partisans, with 86% of Republicans supporting their party’s nominee and 91% of Democrats backing their standard bearer. Independents prefer Trump (44%) over Clinton (30%), with 15% supporting Johnson.
Clinton leads by 63 points among black, Hispanic, and Asian voters (76% to 13%), while Trump leads by 23 points among white voters (54% to 31%). In 2012, Barack Obama won non-white voters by 75 points, while Mitt Romney took the white vote by 37 points. Trump is currently doing about equally as well among white men (51% to 29%) and white women (56% to 33%), although is losing white voters with a college degree by 39% to 43% for Clinton. Trump maintains a sizable advantage among white voters without a college degree (66% to 22%).
Trump is doing better in North Carolina than he is other red states at getting Republicans behind him, but one of his large and lingering issues remains the defection of white voters with college degrees to Hillary Clinton. The Clinton lead can be found in the fact that Clinton is under performing less with non-white voters (-12 over Obama) than is underperforming with white voters (-15 over Romney).
North Carolina is going to be close, but if Hillary Clinton flips North Carolina back into the Democratic column, it will be a big step towards blocking any hope that Trump has of winning on Election Night. Donald Trump still does not lead in a single state that President Obama carried in 2012.
The fact that Clinton is leading or competitive in states that Mitt Romney won paints a general picture of the trajectory of this election. Despite all of the near daily drama created by Trump, the 2016 presidential election is settling into a stable pattern. Hillary Clinton is leading with her map is expanding, while Donald Trump’s path to the White House narrows with each passing day.
Nothing is settled. The election in North Carolina is close, but time is ticking away, and Trump has yet to do anything to change the direction of this election.