The latest Civitas Poll shows Gov. Pat McCrory with a five-point lead over Attorney General Roy Cooper, just outside the margin of error.
The poll by the conservative organization shows McCrory leading 45 to 40 percent. Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil received 3 percent.
The survey also shows that McCrory has a better favorability rating, 51-32 percent over Cooper.
The poll was conducted of 600 likely voters, 30 percent of them by cell phone, June 21-23. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Earlier this week, Public Policy Polling released a survey that showed McCrory and Cooper tied. The average of recent polls shows a statistical tie.
Civitas Institute president Francis De Luca said in a statement accompanying the poll that the governor was improving in the polls as the state's economy improves.