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President Trump leads top Democratic candidates by razor thin margin

Democrats more likely to cast crossover vote than Republicans
August 14, 2019


RALEIGH, N.C. – An early release of a Civitas Poll finds that President Donald Trump is leading by razor thin margins when matched up against four of the top Democratic presidential candidates. A survey of 500 likely North Carolina voters were asked, “If the 2020 Presidential election were held today, which of the following candidates would you vote for:”

Trump          45% Trump           46% Trump           47% Trump            46%
Biden            44% Sanders         44% Harris            41% Warren          43%
Undecided   11% Undecided    10% Undecided   12% Undecided    11%

This poll also found that Democratic voters are roughly twice as likely to cross over and vote for President Trump than Republicans are to vote for any of the four Democratic candidates listed.

“Predictably, the polls are tightening up in North Carolina as we draw closer to 2020 and Democratic nominees receive more press time,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “As the saying goes, candidates can run two ways: unopposed or scared. I think this poll says that everyone should be doing the latter. Everyone.”

A recent national SurveyUSA poll released on August 7, 2019 found that at a national level each Democratic candidate fares more favorably than they do across North Carolina. With 15 electoral votes at stake, as well as a political mix at the Council of State level, North Carolina continues to remain an active swing state.

Among female voters, all four Democratic candidates highlighted in the poll lead President Trump:

Biden/Trump       (52.01/39.22)
Sanders/Trump   (54.61/36.37)
Harris/Trump      (50.63/37.34)
Warren/Trump   (53.33/37.49)

Bryson continued, “Across key demographics, President Trump has an advantage in party loyalty and the gender gap, given that men are more likely to vote for him than women are to vote against him. He also consistently leads among seniors, unaffiliated voters, and high propensity voters.”

Crosstabs of these poll questions can be found here.

METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 500 likely voters in North Carolina and the margin of error is +/-4.38%. Responses were gathered via landline and mobile telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. The survey was conducted August 1 – 4, 2019 by Harper Polling. The total percentages of responses may not equal 100% due to rounding. 

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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