Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is leading incumbent Donald Trump by seven points in the crucial state of North Carolina, a new NBC News/Marist poll says. The survey reveals that 51% of registered voters in the state support Biden, with 44% preferring Trump.
North Carolina is an important prize in the general election, carrying 15 electoral votes. Trump won North Carolina by 3.7 points in 2016 and the state is considered essential amid his sagging approval ratings. In 2008, Barack Obama won North Carolina by a very slim margin.
Although once considered to be a mostly rural state, North Carolina’s population has become more urban and diverse in recent decades, as cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte continue to grow rapidly. According to July 2019 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, 70.6% of North Carolinians are white, with 22.2% of the state’s population being African-American. The state’s Latino population stands at 9.8%.
Biden’s strength with Black voters could help him land a victory in North Carolina. Trump is depending on voters from rural and exurban areas to win the state.
The survey shows other positive signs for Democratic candidates in North Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has a big lead on Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, 58% to 38%. Trump recently feuded with Cooper over coronavirus restrictions in the state, with Trump responding by pulling his Republican National Convention event from Charlotte.
Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is also leading Republican incumbent Thom Tillis, 50% to 41%. Cunningham, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, has sharply criticized Tillis’ economic and environmental stances.
Recent polls show Biden beating Trump by wide margins in other swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida.