Skip links

Trump Leads in NC Against Four Top Democratic Contenders

Biden Most Formidable; Sanders, Least
February 19, 2019


RALEIGH, N.C. – A statewide survey of likely voters finds President Donald Trump with leads over four of the top Democratic contenders in the 2020 presidential race, Civitas announced in an early release of its latest poll.

The Civitas Poll shows President Trump with marginal to significant leads over former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker.

Trump v. Biden Trump v. Sanders Trump v. Harris Trump v. Booker
Trump              43% Trump             46% Trump             45% Trump              44%
Biden               39% Sanders           34% Harris              34% Booker             36%
Someone else   7% Someone else   9% Someone else   5% Someone else    6%
Undecided       11% Undecided       10% Undecided       16% Undecided       14%

Consistent with national polling, Biden’s popularity is evident, particularly when compared to Sanders, Harris, and Booker. However, Sen. Sanders, who just announced his candidacy this morning, is also viewed as a top challenger at the national level, having seen considerable success in moving the policy conversations around healthcare and the minimum wage to the far left.

“National Democrats are on the cusp of the grueling journey to pick their party frontrunner. This is a journey that Republicans can likely empathize with, as they found themselves in a similar situation in 2016.,” said Civitas President Donald Bryson. “Right now, President Trump is likely benefitting from a higher name ID, while at the same time, voters tend to be shy of supporting candidates they view as undefined.”

North Carolina is considered by many to be a 2020 battleground state. In 2016, then-candidate Trump garnered 49.8 percent of the North Carolina vote, thus receiving all 15 electoral votes. Despite this win, the state has been changing rapidly, as in-migration from northern, oftentimes Democratic, states has created a more challenging environment for Republicans. Nevertheless, the substantial rural population in the state provides a level of security for Republican candidates, both at federal and state levels.

Bryson continued, “North Carolina won’t be a cakewalk for any party or candidate, and campaigns are going to have to find new messages or methods to sway moderate voters and soft partisans.”

To access the crosstabs for these questions, click here.

Full statewide poll results will be released on February 20, 2019.

For questions or interview requests, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

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 February 11 – 13, 2019 by Harper Polling. The total percentages of responses may not equal 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.

Civitas Institute
Simple Share ButtonsSHARE:
Simple Share Buttons
Civitas Institute
Civitas Logo
Simple Share ButtonsSHARE:
Simple Share Buttons