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Biden takes the lead in latest Civitas Poll

Sanders and Bloomberg fall back; Cunningham still leads Senate Primary
February 28, 2020


RALEIGH – The second Civitas Poll tracking the North Carolina Democratic presidential primary shows former vice president Joe Biden has taken the lead outside of the margin of error over former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

This poll was conducted Wednesday, February 26 through Thursday, February 27, after the CBS News Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday night.

Joe Biden 26.75%
Bernie Sanders 18.74%
Michael Bloomberg 16.01%

“It appears that Biden has been able to create some daylight for himself in North Carolina, after Tuesday night’s debate,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “He is maintaining a steady lead among self-described moderates and African American voters. Sanders has carved a niche with 35 to 54-year-old voters, and more than half of his support is coming from voters in households with less than $50,000 in annual income.”

The remaining Democratic presidential candidates are trailing considerably behind the three frontrunners, all needing to make up significant ground in order to meet the 15 percent threshold to earn delegates in North Carolina.

Pete Buttigieg 3.75%
Amy Klobuchar 4.94%
Elizabeth Warren 10.56%
Another Candidate 4.60%
Undecided 14.46%

Bryson continued, “Looking at our data, combined with other information, it appears Joe Biden is making some moves in southern states, but Saturday’s outcome in South Carolina could influence North Carolina voters. Therefore, we will put one more poll in the field over the weekend.”

In the primary race for U.S. Senate, Cal Cunningham still leads the field with 45.32 percent, followed by Erica Smith at 22.66 percent.

“More than 28 percent of voters are undecided in the Senate primary,” said Bryson. “I anticipate large voter drop-off from the presidential nominees to the Senate.”

Poll crosstabs can be found here.

This poll was conducted by IVR and Online Panel Interviews from February 26 to February 27 among a sample of 587 likely voters. Spry Strategies administered the poll. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points. Results are weighted. Some percentages in crosstab reports for this poll may not add to 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. 


For questions, or to arrange an interview, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

Civitas has conducted live-caller voting in North Carolina since May 2005, and we are the only public policy organization offering statewide independent, nonpartisan data on a regular basis. Our polls have provided vital insights on what North Carolina voters think of the leaders and issues facing the state and nation.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization committed to advancing conservative ideas and shrinking the size of government. Civitas fights to eliminate government barriers to freedom so that North Carolinians can live a better life.

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