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The Meredith College Poll Finds Key Races Close in North Carolina

North Carolina continues to be a battleground state for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as Clinton holds a 38-35 percent advantage among likely voters. As the race enters the last six weeks and the beginning of the critical presidential debate period, 21% of North Carolina voters report being undecided. These results suggest that more visits by the candidates and their surrogates and heavy advertising coverage throughout the state should continue until Election Day.

Likewise, US senate challenger Deborah Ross holds a similar 38-35 percent advantage over incumbent Republican Richard Burr. In the governor’s race, incumbent Pat McCrory has a two-point advantage over Democratic challenger Roy Cooper, 41-39 percent. Both of these races should continue to be some of the closest in the nation for their respective offices.

All races are in the poll’s margin of error (4.43 percent).

Voter Satisfaction with the Direction of the Country and Voter Enthusiasm

The Meredith College Poll also asked questions about voters’ satisfaction with the direction of the country and their enthusiasm for voting this year. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of North Carolina registered voters report being dissatisfied with the direction of the country. Registered Republican voters report the highest level of dissatisfaction with the direction of the country (84%), while registered Democratic voters report the least (61%).  Registered unaffiliated voters’ level of dissatisfaction was just below the state average (71%). The level of dissatisfaction has remained consistent since the last administration of the Meredith Poll in March.

Almost two-thirds of North Carolina registered voters report being enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections, while 26 percent report being unenthusiastic. The difference between registered Democratic and Republican voters is negligible with 62 percent of registered Democrats indicating enthusiasm for the elections, while 67 percent of registered Republicans are enthusiastic. The gap is just outside the poll’s margin of error.

Among other demographic groups, African American voters and seniors have the highest level of enthusiasm at 81 percent and 80 percent, respectively, with those under the age of 30 being the least enthusiastic (48%). The enthusiasm numbers may bode poorly for Hillary Clinton, since the African American turnout may not approach that of 2008 and 2012, even with the high level of enthusiasm, and the turnout among those under 30, as indicated by their enthusiasm level, is lower than in the previous two presidential elections.

About The Meredith College Poll
The Meredith College Poll uses a stratified random sample of households with telephones and wireless (cell) telephone numbers. The survey was conducted using a live-caller, dual frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 487 registered voters of North Carolina between September 18-22, 2016. Meredith College students administer the survey as part of the College’s commitment to civic engagement.

Learn more about The Meredith College Poll

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu