GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is the leading choice among North Carolina Republican primary voters in a recent Public Policy Poll. Trump received 16 percent, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush received 12 percent.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in tied for second with Bush at 12 percent. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was third with 11 percent. Dr. Ben Carson got 9 percent with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) got 7 percent while Se. Ted Cruz (R-TX) got six percent. Gov. Chris Christie received five percent. Carly Fiorina followed with four percent and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had two percent.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had one percent, as did Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Sen. Rick Santorum. Gov. John Kasich and George Pataki were under one percent.
President Obama carried North Carolina in 2008, but Republican nominee Mitt Romney took it back in 2012.
“Trump’s favorability rating in North Carolina is 55/32, much higher than we were finding in national polls prior to his entry into the race. Trump’s really caught fire with voters on the far right- 66% of ‘very conservative’ voters see him favorably to only 24% with a negative view of him. Trump is polling particularly well with younger voters (29%) and men (20%),” Public Policy Poll (PPP) reported.
Bush had been the leader in the North Carolina polls, but is struggling to get the conservative vote.
“Among ‘very conservative’ Republicans, only 37% see him favorably to 44% who have a negative opinion of him and only 7% of those voters support him for the nomination, putting him in 7th place in the GOP field. Bush’s overall 43/35 favorability is the second worst of any of the 10 candidates we measured that for, besting only Chris Christie’s 27/41 standing,” reported PPP.
Huckabee came in with the highest favorability rating out of the GOP candidates in North Carolina.
Rubio and Carson also had good favorability ratings and PPP notes, “We’re not generally finding those folks at the top of the heap when it comes to preference for the nomination, but they do have a lot of goodwill that might help them move up later.”
For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is still the front runner, but the poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is catching up to her in North Carolina. Clinton had 55 percent of supporters to Sanders’ 20 percent.
Jim Webb had seven percent while Lincoln Chaffee and Martin O’Malley had four percent.
Clinton saw a ten-point drop in support from last month’s standing. Sanders jumped from 14 percent to twenty percent of supporters.
“Clinton’s polling over 70% with African Americans, 60% with liberals and women, and 50% with moderates and voters in every age group,” PPP reported, adding she is weaker with white voters and men.
“All of the general election match ups in North Carolina are close with Clinton trailing 5 of the Republican hopefuls, leading 4 of them, and tied with one,” PPP noted.
Huckabee and Walker lead Clinton in head-to-head matchups by four points.
Carson leads her by three points, while Paul and Rubio lead her by one point.
The poll showed that Donald Trump and Chris Christie trailed Clinton by three points in a matchup as did Bush and Cruz.
GOP candidate Carly Fiorina tied Clinton at 45 percent in a head-to-head matchup Clinton.
“Clinton continues to be far stronger as a general election candidate than any other potential Democratic hopeful,” PPP concluded.