N.C. poll: Trump, Clinton see races tighten

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton look to be headed to big victories in South Carolina primaries this month, but their leads might be getting a bit smaller in North Carolina.

Public Policy Polling just released new numbers moments ago that show Trump’s lead in North Carolina shrinking nine points in the last month.

Says PPP’s Tom Jensen: “Trump leads with 29% to 19% for Ted Cruz, 16% for Marco Rubio, 11% for John Kasich, 9% for Ben Carson, and 7% for Jeb Bush. Trump's actually seen a 9 point decline from his standing in the state last month. Kasich has the most momentum, with a 9 point increase in his support. Rubio is up 5 points and Cruz is up 3 points compared to last month, while Carson and Bush have pretty much stayed in place.”

In the Democratic race, Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 52-37 – still a solid lead but slightly tighter than last month’s PPP poll. As in South Carolina and other states, the black vote is the key for Clinton. She leads Sanders 64-24 in that demographic.

Jensen notes the race remains fluid, with 47% of voters say they might still change their minds between now and the primary in four weeks.

While Trump’s numbers have remained close to the same, challengers Marco Rubio (five points), Ted Cruz (three points) and especially John Kasich (nine points) have gobbled up support from Ben Carson and recently departed candidates.

Interesting note: Trump no longer has the highest unfavorables in North Carolina. Those belong to Cruz in every voter demographic but “very conservative.”

Still, Trump’s unfavorables are high, and the path for his challengers remains the same: Hope other candidates get out of the race, because their voters are less likely at this point to go to Trump.

Peter St. Onge