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North Carolina Shaping up to be a 2020 Presidential Battleground

Civitas Poll Early Release
November 26, 2018


RALEIGH, N.C. – A preview of a new Civitas Poll reveals a significant split among likely voters going into the 2020 presidential election. When asked:

“If the 2020 election for President were held today, would you vote: for Donald Trump regardless of his opponent, for the Democratic nominee running against Trump no matter who it is, OR does your vote for President depend on who the Democratic nominee is?”

Trump, regardless of opponent                     35%
Democrat, no matter who it is                       36%
Depends on Democratic nominee                 21%
Unsure/Refused                                                 8%

In 2016, President Trump won North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes by 3.6 percent.

“With a statistical tie, these results indicate what should be no surprise – North Carolina will be a key battleground state in 2020,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “There are very few scenarios in which a 2020 presidential candidate does not need North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes to win, and this poll indicates that we are in play. However, these results should not be construed as good or bad news for anyone.”

Looking at the crosstabs, Republicans have a slight edge in partisan loyalty over Democrats. Unaffiliated voters narrowly choose President Trump but are more likely to say it depends on the Democratic nominee than Democrats or Republicans.

Comparing men and women, women tend to prefer any Democrat, while men are more likely to definitively back President Trump for reelection.

Complete statewide poll results will be released Tuesday, November 27, 2018at 8:00 am.

This poll surveyed 650 likely voters in North Carolina. The margin of error is +/- 3.84%. Responses were gathered via landline and mobile telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. The survey was conducted November 17-19, 2018 by Harper Polling.

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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