As both presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump hold campaign events in the swing state of North Carolina on Tuesday, an analysis of the top election issues facing North Carolina voters suggests Trump is an early favorite in the tar heel state.
According to 2012 presidential election exit polls in which Republican nominee Mitt Romney pulled off a tight victory over President Obama in North Carolina, voters cared the most about the economy, the federal budget deficit, foreign policy, and healthcare. Of those issues, voters favored Romney overwhelmingly on the economy, federal budget deficit, and foreign policy.
If history repeats itself and those top issues are also the major concerns for North Carolina voters in the 2016 general election, it will bode well for Trump, according to several recent polls.
A number of surveys in North Carolina suggest voters found the top issues for the 2016 election are education, jobs, and the economy.
For example, a recent survey of 1,530 voters conducted by Elon University found North Carolina voters are most concerned with education. Jobs and wages came in second, followed by the economy as the third top issue.
A new national Morning Consult poll published last week found that voters favor Trump on the issues of both job creation and the economy — even though Clinton held a slight lead in the head-to-head matchup.
According to the results, 45 percent of voters believe Trump will grow the economy. Only 38 percent believe Clinton can help grow the economy. Additionally, the poll found 43 percent of the voters believe Trump will create more jobs, but only 38 percent favor Clinton on job creation.
Furthermore, on the issue of jobs, a recent Public Policy poll found that North Carolina voters disapprove of President Obama — who is campaigning with Clinton in North Carolina — on job performance.
A WRAL News poll, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina, also found that 56 percent of North Carolina voters disapprove of how Obama is handling the Islamic State (ISIS) and 34 percent of voters want Obamacare repealed — a promise Trump has made on the campaign trail.