New Meredith Poll shows Gov. Cooper with massive lead over Dan Forest

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new Meredith Poll of registered North Carolina voters shows former Vice President Joe Biden, Cal Cunningham, and Gov. Roy Cooper all in a position to win their races in the state.

The poll, which was Meredith’s final before Election Day, was conducted Oct. 16-19 and the results should be a welcome sight for Democrats.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has expanded his lead over President Donald Trump and now leads 48.1 percent to 44 percent, according to the poll. Around 4.4 percent of voters said they were undecided.

Both candidates have strong support with their party’s voters, the poll shows.

Trump has support from 88 percent of Republicans and Biden has the support of 91 percent of Democrats.

Unaffiliated voters could be the difference-makers in the election – they’re breaking almost 2-to-1 for Biden in the Meredith Poll.

In North Carolina, there are 2.2 million registered Republicans to 2.59 million registered Democrats.

There 2.4 million unaffiliated voters in North Carolina.

When it comes to the voting behavior of each candidate’s supporters, nearly 65 percent of Trump voters said they were voting for the president, and only 7 percent were voting against Biden.

Biden’s support is a bit softer – 45 percent polled said they were voting for Biden, 26 percent said they were voting against the president, and 21 percent said they were voting for Biden because they preferred Democrats.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

“Joe Biden has grown on Democrats,” said Meredith Poll director David McLennan in a release from the company. “After Joe Biden sewed up the primary, the popular belief was that the majority of votes he got in the general election would be anti-Trump votes. It appears as that many Democrats have grown to like Joe Biden.”

Trump’s approval rating among those polled sits at 43.9 percent – a drop since he saw his highest support as president in September’s Meredith Poll.

A majority of North Carolinians – 53.6 percent – disapprove of the job he’s doing.

Of those who disapprove, 43.1 percent said they strongly disapprove of him.

“The president’s job approval drop is significant at this point in the campaign,” said
McLennan. “His weak first presidential debate, COVID diagnosis, and the continued fallout of the pandemic have hurt Trump’s approval even among Republicans as his approval was over 90% in
pre-pandemic times.”

In the state’s other massive race – United States Sen. Thom Tillis’ seat – Cunningham has maintained a lead over Tillis despite questions surrounding his conduct and an affair with a woman outside his marriage.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

“The two bombshells — Tillis’ COVID diagnosis and Cunningham’s marital infidelity — have not
affected the basic trajectory of the race,” said McLennan. “Thom Tillis remains an endangered incumbent. The two ‘October surprises’ may have had the effect of causing a number of voters to say they have not made up their mind.”

The Meredith Poll shows Cunningham with a 43.3 percent to 38.2 percent lead.

Both candidates get relatively strong support from their party’s voters – Cunningham has 80 percent support among Democrats and Tillis has 78.9 percent support among Republicans.

Unaffiliated voters are once again breaking for the Democrat by a 2-to-1 margin.

The big story in the race will be those who are undecided just two weeks before the election. More than 14 percent of respondents said they hadn’t yet decided which candidate they are going to vote for.

Tillis’ job approval could provide a glimpse at how undecided voters could break in the race.

Tillis’ approval sits at 40.2 percent and even among Republicans, he’s only at 67.3 percent approval.

In the final big race Meredith looked at – the gubernatorial race – incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper is crushing his Republican challenger, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

According to the Meredith Poll, Cooper leads by nearly 20 points – 52.1 percent to 33.7 percent.

Even if all 12.6 percent of undecided voters broke for Forest, Cooper would still win the race by almost 6 percent.

The Meredith Poll shows Cooper with strong support among all groups other than those who call themselves Republicans – and even still, he has the support of 20 percent of Republicans.

The governor’s approval rating is at 53.5 percent among all voters (75.7 percent of Democrats and 57.7 percent of unaffiliated voters).

Even 39.3 percent of Republicans approve of the job Cooper has done.

“Cooper’s approval tracks with the respondents’ views of how the state has handled the pandemic response,” said McLennan. “They think the state has done a good job handling the crisis and, since the governor has been the most visible person leading the pandemic response, it makes sense that they view him in positive terms.”

Forest’s best support comes from Republicans, rural voters, and those with less than a high school diploma.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

“This is a race in which Roy Cooper has run well the entire year,” said McLennan. “His response to the pandemic is supported by most North Carolinians and the fact that Forest has banked his entire campaign on criticizing the governor’s response to the pandemic looks like it
hasn’t worked.”

The Meredith Poll also asked respondents about a number of other topics including COVID-19 response, safety, health care, and the economic stimulus package.

The Meredith Poll had 732 respondents who were all registered voters over the age of 18. The confidence interval is +/-3.5 percent.

Meredith used screening questions in order to get a sample of likely voters and after completion of the survey, the poll was weighted for race, education, party affiliation, and location.

For full poll results and crosstabs, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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