The crucial battleground state of North Carolina is beginning to lean towards Donald Trump in the week before Election Day.
As of November 2nd, Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 0.7 percentage points in Real Clear Politics’ North Carolina polling average. For Clinton, this is a significant drop to take place in just the past few days; on October 31st, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 3.3 percentage points on Real Clear Politics.
This decline is largely thanks to a few recent polls that give Donald Trump a substantial lead in the state. Though most election forecasts still predict a Clinton victory in North Carolina, it’s becoming less and less certain, with FiveThirtyEight now giving Trump a 48.3 percent chance of winning the state. All of this is obviously great news for the Trump campaign, as without North Carolina, his pathway to 270 Electoral College votes becomes extremely difficult if not flat out impossible.
Here are some of the most recent North Carolina polls.
WRAL/SurveyUSA: Trump Seven Points Ahead
This poll from WRAL/SurveyUSA was released on November 1st, and it gives Trump one of the biggest leads he has ever had in North Carolina. The poll was conducted by speaking to 659 voters who either will likely vote or have already voted. The margin of error is 3.9 percentage points.
This same poll had Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump by two points just three weeks ago. The poll was conducted entirely after the announcement that the FBI would be looking into new emails that may or may not be relevant to the Hillary Clinton private server investigation, and it seems that this news may have had an effect on voters. After all, about a third of those polled said trustworthiness is their most important consideration when selecting a president. And 83 percent of those who said trustworthiness is the most important favored Trump.
However, this poll also showed that many North Carolina voters are not particularly enthusiastic about their candidate and are mainly voting against the other person. About two in five voters said they would be voting against Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump rather than voting for one of them.
Finally, 38 percent of Trump voters said they’d be voting for him “with reservations,” while 32 percent of Clinton voters said the same thing of their candidate.
Remington Research: Trump Two Points Ahead
Another recent poll, this time from Remington Research, gives Trump a lead in North Carolina, although it’s more narrow than in the previous survey. Remington conducted its poll by speaking to 1,176 likely voters on October 30th, and so it was conducted entirely after the Hillary Clinton FBI news. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points.
In this poll, two percent of voters picked Gary Johnson, one percent picked someone else, and four percent remained undecided.
Surprisingly, this poll found that Donald Trump is winning over more Democrats in North Carolina than Hillary Clinton is winning over Republicans. Among those who said they’d be voting for Donald Trump, 23 percent are Democrats, while among those who said they’d vote for Hillary Clinton, 14 percent are Republicans. Trump is also winning among voters without a party affiliation, capturing 49 percent of that demographic compared to Hillary Clinton’s 34 percent.
Also surprising is the fact that this poll has Donald Trump winning among every age group. Among those 18 to 29, 55 percent said they’d be voting for Donald Trump. This is actually a higher percentage than the number of voters between the ages of 50 and 60 who plan to vote for Donald Trump; among that latter demographic, Trump is winning 50 percent of the vote.
Unsurprisingly, though, is the fact that Hillary Clinton is winning among women and African Americans, while Donald Trump is leading among white men.
CBS News/YouGov: Clinton Three Points Ahead
The most recent major poll that looks good for Clinton comes from CBS News/YouGov, and it was taken from October 26th through October 28th, primarily before the FBI email investigation news. The poll was conducted by speaking to 992 likely voters. The margin of error is 4.1 percentage points.
Three percent of those polled said they’d be voting for Gary Johnson, while two percent picked someone else and another two percent said they aren’t sure.
The vast majority of those polled said they are motivated to get out and vote, with 91 percent saying they are either very motivated or somewhat motivated to do so. Only four percent said they aren’t too motivated, and five percent said they’re not motivated but they’ll vote anyway.
However, it’s Donald Trump supporters who are most enthusiastic about their candidate. The majority of Trump’s supporters – 56 percent – said they’re more enthusiastic about Trump than they were about past presidential nominees. On the other hand, a plurality of Clinton’s supporters – 39 percent – said their level of enthusiasm for Clinton is about the same as it was for past candidates. Thirty one percent of Clinton’s supporters said they’re more enthusiastic than usual, and 30 percent of them said they’re less enthusiastic than they have been in the past.
Although this poll was conducted primarily before the Hillary Clinton FBI news, most voters indicated that something like this would not sway them in any way. Seventy two percent of those polled said there is nothing that could happen that would make them support the other candidate.
Finally, bad news for Clinton is that the majority of North Carolina voters have negative feelings towards the Affordable Care Act, a law Clinton has tied herself to and has championed over the years. In this poll, 53 percent of voters said they believe Obamacare has hurt people, compared to 38 percent who believe it has helped.
Emerson: Clinton Three Points Ahead
The latest poll from Emerson gives Clinton a lead of three points over Donald Trump. It was conducted on October 26th and October 27th, so this is another one that took place before the FBI email investigation news dropped. The poll was conducted by speaking to 650 likely voters. The margin of error is 3.8 percentage points.
Four percent of those polled said they plan to vote for Gary Johnson, while two percent were still undecided.
This poll also found that Donald Trump has a significantly higher unfavorable rating in North Carolina than Hillary Clinton, although both candidates are disliked by a majority of voters. Fifty eight percent of voters said they have a negative opinion of Donald Trump, while 53 percent said the same of Hillary Clinton.
Prior to this, Emerson’s previous poll of North Carolina had Clinton up by four points.
Elon University: Clinton Less Than One Point Ahead
Finally, a new poll from Elon University has Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump essentially tied in North Carolina, with Hillary Clinton ahead by just 0.8 percentage points. The poll was conducted from October 23rd through October 27th by speaking to 710 likely voters. The margin of error is 3.7 percentage points.
Three percent of those polled chose Gary Johnson, while a significant number of them – 13.5 percent – said they are still undecided.
Elon’s poll found that despite Donald Trump’s claim that the election is rigged and his hints that he may not accept the results, the majority of voters on both sides say they will accept whatever happens on November 8th, although Trump voters are more likely to say they won’t do so. Ninety two percent of Clinton supporters said they will accept the results of the election, while 72 percent of Trump supporters said the same thing. Among Trump’s base, 28 percent say they either will not accept the results or they’re not sure if they will.
It seems Donald Trump’s allegations of media bias, however, have resonated with North Carolina voters. In this poll, 56 percent of voters said that the media is biased against Donald Trump, while only 19 percent said it is biased against Hillary Clinton.
Finally, 45 percent of those polled said they believe the sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump are “mostly true.” Women tend to believe these accusations more than men, with 51 percent of female voters saying the allegations are “mostly true” and with 38 percent of men saying the same thing.