The latest Bloomberg Politics poll finds a dead heat in North Carolina, with 46% for Hillary Clinton, 45% for Donald Trump.
Those numbers are for a two-way race, but the same razor-thin margin holds when the third-party candidates are included: Clinton 44%, Trump 43%. In that scenario, Libertarian Gary Johnson draws 6%, while the Green Party’s Jill Stein gets 2%, even though she did not qualify for the North Carolina ballot and must appear as a write-in candidate.
Five percent of North Carolina voters remain undecided.
Forty-five percent of respondents said their support for Clinton increased after the first presidential debate, while only 30% said the same for Donald Trump.
Pollster J. Ann Selzer nevertheless said North Carolina is “the kind of situation where third-party candidates could tip the balance.”
“It’s hard to imagine a battleground state where things could be much closer, both in the overall horse-race number and in the underlying party ideology of the voters,” Selzer said.
“In the two-way presidential race, Clinton receives support from 88 percent of the state’s black voters, a group that represented 20 percent of the likely electorate in the survey. Exit polls in 2012 showed blacks casting 23 percent of the state’s ballots and Obama receiving 96 percent of their votes,” Bloomberg reports.
Clinton also leads among urban residents, young voters, women, and voters with a college degree, while Trump leads among rural voters, evangelical Christians, and white men without a college degree. He is ahead with the latter group by 51 points, while Clinton leads by 67 points with non-white voters.
Trump and Clinton are both underwater on approval with North Carolina voters. His favorable numbers are 44%-53%, while hers are 46%-52%.
The North Carolina Senate race is also close, with Democrat Deborah Ross currently leading Republican Richard Burr by 2 points, 46% to 44%. Democrat Roy Cooper is more comfortably ahead in the gubernatorial race, leading Republican Pat McCrory by 50% to 44%.