The latest poll from Suffolk University finds a statistical tie in the presidential race in North Carolina, with Hillary Clinton leading by 45 percent to Donald Trump’s 43 percent, well within the margin of error.
Libertarian Gary Johnson drew 5 percent support in the poll. Jill Stein of the Green Party did not make the North Carolina ballot, so she is a write-in candidate. About 5 percent of voters were undecided.
Interestingly, when pollsters removed Johnson from the equation, the results changed to Clinton 23 percent, Trump 19 percent, and a whopping 31 percent undecided.
However, fully 66 percent of respondents said they expected Clinton to win the election, with only 22 percent anticipating a Trump victory.
The poll was conducted after the second presidential debate, which 70 percent of respondents said they had watched. They were fairly evenly split on who won the debate — 42 percent Clinton, 41 percent Trump. However, a much larger share of respondents thought Trump performed beyond their expectations, 51 percent to 36 percent for Clinton.
Only 14 percent said the 11-year-old video of Trump making lewd comments changed their opinion of him, while 69 percent said it did not.
The top issue for respondents was terrorism and national security (20 percent), followed closely by jobs and the economy (19 percent) and the selection of Supreme Court nominees (16 percent).
The most popular term chosen for how North Carolina voters felt about the presidential election was “Alarmed” (58 percent), followed by “Excited” (22 percent) and “Bored” (13 percent).
21 percent of respondents identified as liberal, 41 percent conservative, and 33 percent moderate. Their favorite TV news source, by a significant margin, was Fox News (29 percent), with CNN taking second place at 18 percent. 66 percent of them said religion was “very important” in their lives, 20 percent said “somewhat important.”
Mitt Romney narrowly won North Carolina in the 2012 election with 50.6 percent to Barack Obama’s 48.4 percent.