New NC poll: Sanders leads tight primary race, Gov. Cooper has highest job approval in state
RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - A new Meredith College poll of North Carolina voters released Friday morning shows some good news for Democrats such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Gov. Roy Cooper, and U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham.
The poll covers the Democratic primary, the 2020 presidential and senate races, approval ratings for President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and Cooper, as well as voter faith in the election process and voters’ views on women as political leaders.
According to the poll, Sanders leads the pack among voters who plan to vote in the Democratic primary. He is the first choice of 19.5 percent of voters and two other candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden (17.9 percent) and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (17 percent), are right on his heels.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (10.9 percent) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (10 percent) round out the top five.
Sanders is also the top second choice of 18.2 percent of voters. Bloomberg is the next closest with 12.7 percent.
When it comes to the governor’s race, Cooper is ahead of fellow Democratic candidate Ernest Reeves, according to the poll. More than 65 percent of Democratic primary voters said they plan to vote for Cooper compared to 5 percent for Reeves.
There was also more good news for the governor in the poll. Cooper is the major political figure in the state with the highest job approval rating at 45.1 percent and a double-digit net positive of more than 10 points.
Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham looks set to run away with the nomination as the poll shows him up 29 points on Erica Smith.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump should cruise to victory in the Republican primary. He’s the first choice of 85 percent of registered Republican voters. The next closest is Bill Weld with 3.1 percent support.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest also has a massive lead for the Republican gubernatorial nomination where he leads Holly Grange 53.3 percent to 9.6 percent.
Sen. Thom Tillis is also up nearly 50 points on his closest primary opponent, Paul Wright. Although Tillis should win the Republican nomination for Senate, his approval numbers are not particularly good. Just over 34 percent of North Carolina voters approve of the job he’s doing while nearly 39 percent disapprove. Almost 27 percent said they “don’t know” how Tillis is handling his job as a senator.
The poll of registered voters in North Carolina, which was conducted from Feb. 16-24, had a sample size of 1,024 voters and a margin of error of +/- 3 percent, according to the methodology.
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