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Donald Trump, Richard Burr have narrow leads in new NC poll

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points to a member of the audience as he makes remarks at the Trask Coliseum on the campus of UNC-W in Wilmington, N.C. Tuesday, August 9, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points to a member of the audience as he makes remarks at the Trask Coliseum on the campus of UNC-W in Wilmington, N.C. Tuesday, August 9, 2016. cliddy@newsobserver.com

A new Emerson College Polling Society poll has good news for North Carolina Republicans after several polls put Democrats in the lead here.

The survey of 800 likely voters found GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump with 45 percent support to 43 percent support for Democrat Hillary Clinton. In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr had 45 percent, with Democrat Deborah Ross receiving 41 percent.

Burr’s lead is barely outside the poll’s 3.4 percent margin of error. The margin also means the presidential race is statistically tied in North Carolina.

Other recent polls have given a narrow lead to Clinton in North Carolina. With the addition of the Emerson poll, Real Clear Politics’ polling average has Clinton with a 0.5 percent lead here – meaning the presidential race is tighter here than in the six other swing states where Real Clear Politics is tracking polls.

Trump hasn’t fared well in polls nationally lately, so his campaign was quick to trumpet the Emerson results, tweeting “thank you North Carolina” as soon as the two-point lead was announced.

In the Senate race, only one poll has put Ross in the lead. The Real Clear Politics polling average currently gives Burr a 2.6 percent lead.

Emerson’s Senate poll failed to include Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh, although the presidential poll included third-party candidates. Given that Haugh’s candidacy could draw some voters from Burr and Ross, it’s difficult to accurately poll the race without him.

Emerson did not poll the governor’s race.

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