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Civitas Poll: Trump and Biden in Dead Heat; Gov. Cooper’s Approval Continues to Decline

President Donald Trump (R) and former vice president Joe Biden (D) are in a dead heat, according to the most recent Civitas Poll of likely North Carolina voters. When asked, “If the presidential election were held today, which of the following candidates would you vote for,” 45% of respondents said they intend to vote for President Trump, while 44% said Biden. Jo Jorgensen, candidate for the Libertarian Party, garnered 2% support among respondents. Eight percent remain undecided. 

Trump (R) 45%
Biden (D) 44%
Jorgensen (L) 2%
Blankenship (CP) <1%
Hawkins (G) <1%
Undecided 8%

This survey was conducted on September 17-20, during which the news of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing was announced.
“The presidential race continues, and will continue, to be a nail-biter until November 3,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “There is a reason the Trump campaign has camped out in the Old North State in the last month, and now the Biden campaign is making an appearance – we are the state to watch for the White House.”
President Trump’s job approval climbed 4 points since an apparent August slump, moving from 47% to 51%. Since August, the President has made the most gains in job approval among his Republican base, with a net +92 approval, and men, with a net +23 approval. 
As noted yesterday, in an early Civitas Poll release, Cal Cunningham (D) has taken a significant lead over Sen. Thom Tillis (R) in the U.S. Senate race, garnering 44% among likely voters, compared to Tillis’ 38%.
The North Carolina gubernatorial race has slightly tightened, although still outside of the margin of error. When asked, “If the election for North Carolina governor were held today, which of the following candidates would you vote for,” Governor Roy Cooper (D) comes out with a clear lead (46%) compared to Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s (R) 39%. 

Cooper (D) 46%
Forest (R) 39%
DiFiore (L) 1%
Pisano (CP) 1%
Undecided 12%

The governor’s approval sits at 52%, marking a steady decline from his April 2020 high of 70%. North Carolina remains partially shut down, and many parents continue to express their concerns over the limitations associated with virtual learning. After a summer of unrest in some of our state’s urban areas, coupled with continued closures and/or stringent capacity limits on various types of businesses, his disapproval has climbed, now sitting at 41%, the highest it has been his entire term as governor.

Several statewide races, including lieutenant governor, treasurer, superintendent for public instruction, and state supreme court chief justice were surveyed, and their results can be found in the toplines.
Of note, the races for treasurer and state superintendent are tied.
The Civitas Poll also asked North Carolinians how confident they were that the November election would be conducted fairly and accurately:

Very Confident 17%
Somewhat Confident 36%
Not Too Confident 29%
Not At All Confident 12%
Unsure/Refused 6%

Public safety continues to top the list of concerns among likely voters, behind issues related to COVID-19, healthcare, and the economy. When those surveyed were asked, “How much of a problem is maintaining law and order in this country right now,” 69% cited it as a major problem, 19% as a minor problem, and only 8% stating it is not a problem. A small percentage (3%) remain unsure or refused to answer.
To access the complete Civitas Poll results click here
Crosstabs can be found here

Methodology: The sample size for the survey is 612 likely voters in North Carolina and the margin of error is +/- 3.96% at a 95% condense interval, meaning that if this survey were repeated, results would not vary from the population by more than 3.96 percentage points 19 times out of 20. Responses were gathered via landline and cellphone interviews conducted using live operators at a professional call center. Demographics were adjusted to reflect the population from which the sample was drawn. The survey was conducted September 17-20, 2020 by Harper Polling, a Cygnal company. The total percentages of responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization that fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.