A new survey of North Carolina voters shows President Donald Trump is particularly popular in the state, beating out every Democrat he was polled against in head-to-head match-ups in the 2020 presidential election–a strong sign for the president as he wades deeper into 2019 with a re-election campaign looming next year.
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The Civitas poll of 500 likely voters in North Carolina with a margin of error of 4.38 percent shows Trump beating four different leading Democrat contenders. Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden 43 percent to 39 percent, a four percent lead, but has bigger leads over Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), an independent self-described socialist who caucuses with Democrats and has announced he is seeking the Democrat nomination for president in 2020. The survey was conducted from Feb. 11 to Feb. 13, and was released on Wednesday.
Both Booker and Harris are officially in the race, and Sanders joined them this week. Biden has yet to make a decision. Trump’s North Carolina lead over Booker in this poll is by eight percent, with Trump at 44 percent and Booker down at 36 percent, while Trump’s lead over Harris is by 11 percent with Trump at 45 percent and Harris at 34 percent. Over Sanders, Trump leads by 12 percent in North Carolina–with the president at 46 percent and Sanders at 34 percent.
“National Democrats are on the cusp of the grueling journey to pick their party frontrunner. This is a journey that Republicans can likely empathize with, as they found themselves in a similar situation in 2016,” Civitas President Donald Bryson said in a release announcing the poll results. “Right now, President Trump is likely benefitting from a higher name ID, while at the same time, voters tend to be shy of supporting candidates they view as undefined.”
The Republican National Convention in 2020 is going to be in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Trump will all but certainly be re-nominated as the GOP nominee for president as he seeks re-election to a second term in the White House. North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes, just as critical to Trump’s path to re-election as they were for his 2016 win over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, are in the mix and up for grabs, as whoever wins the Democrat nomination is likely to push to try to flip the state back to the Democrats.
Democrats have not won North Carolina since the 2008 presidential election, when now former President Barack Obama defeated GOP nominee then-Sen. John McCain–who has since passed away–in the Tar Heel State. In 2012, GOP nominee and now Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)–the former governor of Massachusetts who later moved to Utah to run for Senate in 2018–beat Obama there, but lost the general election. Trump defeated Clinton in North Carolina in 2016.
“North Carolina won’t be a cakewalk for any party or candidate, and campaigns are going to have to find new messages or methods to sway moderate voters and soft partisans,” Bryson of Civitas added.