Donald Trump has taken a narrow lead in North Carolina polling averages in the final days of the campaign, while Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper are maintaining narrow leads in their races.
The trends are according to Monday’s RealClearPolitics average of North Carolina polls. The average is more reliable than individual polls, which use a variety of methodologies.
For the presidential race in North Carolina, RealClearPolitics’ polling average has Republican Trump with a 1 percentage point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton (46.5 percent for Trump, 45.5 percent for Clinton and 3.2 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson).
That number is a shift in Trump’s favor since Oct. 31, when Clinton led the polling average by 3 percentage points. It’s possible the Republican got a boost from news about the FBI reviewing more emails related to Clinton’s use of a private email server – a review that ended Sunday with no new findings.
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Clinton fared better in polls conducted over the weekend. A New York Times/Siena poll found the candidates tied at 44 percent support. The latest Quinnipiac poll gave Clinton a 2 percentage point lead.
In the Senate race, Burr has a 2 percentage point lead over Democrat Deborah Ross (47 percent for Burr and 45 percent for Ross; Libertarian Sean Haugh is not included in the average).
That’s a boost for Burr from Nov. 3, when he had just a 0.9 percentage point lead over Ross in the polling average. While Ross had a narrow lead in the average in late September, Burr has been in the lead since Oct. 10.
Polls conducted over the weekend show an even tighter Senate race, with the candidates tied in a Quinnipiac poll. Burr was up 1 percentage point in a New York Times/Siena poll conducted during the same period.
Those two near-tie polls were conducted several days after the release of a leaked recording in which Burr joked about a bullseye on Hillary Clinton. Burr apologized for what he said was an “inappropriate” remark.
In the governor’s race, RealClearPolitics has Cooper with a 2.2 percentage point lead over Republican Gov. Pat McCrory (48.4 percent for Cooper, 46.2 percent for McCrory).
It’s a slightly bigger lead in the polling average than Cooper had in late October, when McCrory appeared to have gotten a popularity boost in the wake of his response to Hurricane Matthew.