Cooper Up 7; Burr Up 5 in Latest North Carolina Poll

North Carolinians favor Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump, according to a poll by High Point University released on Monday.

The numbers show Clinton with a 42/40 lead. But the survey was conducted before the firestorm that was created when a recording was released of Trump making what the Washington Post described as “extremely lewd” comments about women. The story, which the Post broke on Friday afternoon, contained audio recorded on a hot mic between Trump and Billy Bush, who was then with “Access Hollywood.”

A national NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday was taken after the audio was released and before the second presidential debate, which was held Sunday night, that showed Clinton up 14 points in a head-to-head matchup with Trump. That suggests the Trump audio is greatly extending Clinton’s lead nationally – at least while the audio is still fresh in the minds of likely voters.

In the High Point poll, Republican incumbent Richard Burr is leading Democratic challenger Deborah Ross by five points, 45/40 in the race for North Carolina’s United States Senate seat. Nine percent of respondents said they were still undecided.

As some Republican leaders have now removed their support for Trump after Friday’s audio surfaced, Burr reiterated he would continue supporting the Republican nominee in a video posted to WRAL’s Facebook page Monday afternoon.

Burr has been in the best position of Republicans running for President, Senate and Governor in North Carolina in recent polling. No North Carolina-specific polls have been conducted and released since Trump’s comments became public.

In the gubernatorial race, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper is leading Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory by seven points at 48/41.

North Carolinians prefer a Republican candidate to a Democratic candidate when asked about generic party candidates in the race for US Congress by a 45/42 margin. While likely voters in the Tar Heel state are fairly evenly split on this question, it is still likely 10 Republicans will be elected to the US House of Representatives compared with three Democrats under the current Congressional map drawn by state GOP lawmakers.

Conversely, the NBC/WSJ poll showed a preference for a Democrat-controlled Congress by a 49/42 margin.

See the full High Point University results here.

See the full NBC/WSJ results here.

Chapel Hill Planning Director Honored by State Organization

The North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association has presented Chapel Hill planning director Ben Hitchings with the organization’s highest honor, the Philip P. Green Distinguished Service Award.

The award is presented to a member who “has made a sustained and substantial contribution to the organization,” according to a release.

Hitchings has served in the state’s APA chapter since 1999, according to the town, holding roles as chair of the Legislative Committee and then as the chapter president.

The North Carolina APA was the first chapter in the country to establish a state-level Great Places initiative while under the leadership of Hitchings. That effort works to “recognize great main streets and other great places in North Carolina, and the communities that sustain them.”

During Hitchings’ tenure as president, the organization also launched a program to highlight the role of planning in building local economies.

Hitchings has been with the Town of Chapel Hill since August and previously served as the planning director for the Town of Morrisville.

Poll: North Carolina Governor and Senate Races ‘Too Close to Call’

The races for United States Senate and Governor in North Carolina are too close to call, according to a new round of survey numbers released Wednesday.

The numbers from Quinnipiac University continue an almost daily release of numbers from North Carolina as the Tar Heel state has been drawing attention as it may determine the winner of the presidential race, which party controls the Senate and is home to the most heated gubernatorial race in the country.

The Quinnipiac poll shows Republican incumbent Senator Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross tied at 46 percent. Just last month, Quinnipiac had Burr up six points over Ross at 49/43.

Meanwhile in the race for the Governor’s Mansion, Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory has cut into the lead of Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper in the latest survey. Cooper still holds a two-point lead at 48/46. In September, Cooper’s lead was 51/44, according to Quinnipiac.

Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Peter A. Brown said in a release that he expects attention to remain focused on North Carolina as the election is approaching.

“North Carolina is a very evenly divided state. The presidential race, and the reelection battles of two Republican incumbents, Gov. Pat McCrory and Sen. Richard Burr, are all too close to call. This in a state that little more than a decade ago was strongly Republican.”

Quinnipiac released presidential survey results from North Carolina earlier in the week showing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton up three points over Republican Donald Trump following the first presidential debate.

Other surveys from Bloomberg and Elon released throughout the week have shown Clinton up between one and six points and Cooper up by four and six. A Bloomberg survey released on Monday showed Ross up two points but other surveys have also shown the race being tied.

Chatham County Asking Residents and Businesses About Barriers to Internet Access

As internet access becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity, Chatham County officials are asking residents about barriers to internet access in portions of the county.

While officials acknowledge in a release that “the county is restricted in what it can do to promote more options,” they are asking residents and organizations to complete a survey better documenting challenges or barriers.

“We are asking every household or organization to complete a survey to help us better communicate to state and federal officials the severity of broadband access issue in Chatham County, which likely is true in many other rural counties,” county director of management and information systems Darlene Yudell said in a release.

Yudell added that, “It is up to us to show areas that are unserved or underserved. We also have to deal with the fact that several state regulations and laws restrict what counties can do to promote more broadband options in those areas.”

Officials are asking residents and businesses to complete the survey by November 11.

You can take the survey online or you can have a copy mailed to you by requesting one from Yudell via e-mail at or mailing a request to Chatham County MIS, 158 West St, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Clinton and Cooper Leading North Carolina Races While Senate Race is Tied

An “unusually strong post-debate bump” is leading to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holding a nearly six-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in the race for the White House, according to a new survey from Elon University.

The new poll shows a big jump for Clinton from the last Elon survey released in late September that showed Trump with a one-point lead. The most impactful event on those numbers seem to be the first presidential debate.

“We are seeing an unusually strong post-debate bump for Clinton in North Carolina,” said Jason Husser, assistant professor of political science and the director of the Elon University Poll. “A majority of N.C. voters thought Clinton won’t [sic] the debate, but future campaign events will determine if this bump is only temporary or more lasting.”

Overall, the poll showed that 64 percent of respondents felt Clinton won the debate.

Meanwhile, in the race for governor, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper is leading his Republican counterpart incumbent Governor Pat McCrory by four points. That is a major flip from the late September survey from Elon that found McCrory with a three-point lead.

North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, which advocates maintain is the worst piece of anti-LGBT legislation in the nation, seems to be the biggest drag on McCrory’s poll numbers.

“Backlash over HB2 seems to have harmed Pat McCrory’s poll numbers,” Husser said. “McCrory continues to struggle with women and with African-Americans.”

Elon’s survey found that more than 55 percent of respondents feel that HB2 should be repealed.

In the race for North Carolina’s Senate seat, Republican incumbent Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross are “essentially” tied, according to the Elon survey.

The results show Ross with a percentage-point lead over Burr.

Husser said Burr should take that as a good sign as other Republicans in the state seem to be losing ground.

“That Richard Burr has not fallen in poll numbers like fellow Republicans McCrory and Trump is a positive sign for the Burr campaign’s prospects as a whole,” Husser said.

Survey results released on Monday showed Clinton, Cooper and Ross with leads.

You can see the full Elon results here.

Deborah Ross and Roy Cooper Leading Races for Senate and Governor in North Carolina Poll

Democrats Deborah Ross and Roy Cooper are leading their respective races for Senate and Governor over their Republican counterparts, according to a recent survey of likely North Carolina voters.

A Bloomberg poll released Monday shows Ross is leading Republican incumbent Senator Richard Burr by a two-point margin at 46/44.

The Senate race in the Tar Heel state has been seen as one of the best chances for Democrats to flip control of the United States Senate from GOP control.

Ross and Burr have been in a tight battle with each leading in different surveys and most results being within the margin for error of each poll.

The Bloomberg poll also showed a six-point lead for Attorney General Roy Cooper in his gubernatorial bid to unseat the Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory at 50/44.

The most common answer from those surveyed when asked what the most important issue facing North Carolina right now was overwhelmingly the economy. As many respondents answered the economy as they did the next two topics combined, which were race relations and “laws about accommodations for gay and transgender residents of North Carolina.”

Two of those options may be related as more than half of those surveyed felt that the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which advocates maintain is the worst piece of anti-LGBT legislation in the country, should be repealed. The law has remained in the headlines since being passed in a one-day special session in March as businesses have said they would not expand in the state due to the law. The National Basketball Association, NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference have also all pulled sporting events from the state over HB2.

The poll surveyed North Carolinians about another law that has been the subject of headlines recently – North Carolina’s Voter ID law, which was struck down as unconstitutional earlier this year. An opinion from the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals condemned the law for targeting African-American voters with “almost surgical precision.” But by a 51/41 margin those surveyed said they felt the law was about addressing voter fraud rather than suppressing black votes.

The Bloomberg survey also had Democrat Hillary Clinton leading the presidential race over Donald Trump in North Carolina.

Clinton Holding Lead Over Trump in North Carolina

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is maintaining her lead over Republican Donald Trump in North Carolina, according to two surveys released on Monday.

Clinton holds a one-point lead in a survey conducted by Bloomberg Politics at 44/43.

Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University survey of likely North Carolina voters shows Clinton with a three-point lead over Trump both head-to-head (49/46) and when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is included in the survey (46/43).

Both the Bloomberg and Quinnipiac surveys show that North Carolinians think Clinton won the first presidential debate held last Monday.

Bloomberg shows those surveyed felt Clinton won by a 50/38 margin, while the Quinnipiac poll shows a 49/24 breakdown of voters feeling Clinton came out on top.

The Bloomberg poll also showed 45 percent of respondent said Monday’s debate made them more likely to vote for Clinton and 30 percent said it made them more supportive of Trump.

A Public Policy Polling survey released last week showed a flip of support from Trump to Clinton following the debate. A PPP poll from September 21 found Trump with a two-point lead. The survey released after the first debate had Clinton with a two-point lead.

North Carolina has been called a ‘must-have state’ if Trump is going to win the White House, while being seen as the possible cherry on top for Clinton on Election Day.

North Carolina Polls Differ in Race for Governor

After surveys of North Carolina voters were published seemingly every day last week, Monday started that momentum once again as two North Carolina-specific polls were released.

Both surveys have Democratic candidates leading their respective Republican counterparts in races for the President and United States Senate.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a two-point lead in a survey released by High Point University over Donald Trump. Clinton’s lead grew to three points in a Meredith College poll.

In the race for North Carolina’s seat United States Senate up for election this fall, challenger Deborah Ross finds herself ahead of incumbent Richard Burr by a single point in the High Point poll and three points, according to the Meredith survey.

All of those results were within the margin of error for each survey.

But there was a deviation in the two surveys in the race for governor in North Carolina.

The Meredith College poll showed incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory with a two-point lead over his Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper.

While the survey shows McCrory with a 41/39 lead, 14 percent of respondents said they still didn’t know who they would vote for as we’re a month and a half away from Election Day.

The survey results from High Point swung the opposite way in the gubernatorial race.

Cooper held an eight-point lead over McCrory, according to the High Point numbers.

Real Clear Politics shows an aggregate number from the survey results as an average, which shows Cooper with a 3.5-point lead, Ross up one point and Trump up .8 of a point.

That shows that North Carolina continues to be a closely divided state as Election Day is quickly approaching.

Lawsuit Filed Challenging North Carolina’s Congressional Districts

A lawsuit has been filed by advocacy groups arguing that North Carolina’s 2016 congressional redistricting plan violates the First and Fourteenth Amendment of US Constitution.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the Campaign Legal Center announced the lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina.

The lawsuit, League of Women Voters of North Carolina v. Rucho, was filed in the US District Court for North Carolina’s Middle District, according to a release.

The lawsuit comes after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that North Carolina’s congressional districts were unconstitutional. The maps that were ruled on were drawn by the Republican-led General Assembly following the 2011 census and have been winding through the court system since.

A special primary was held in June for congressional races in the Tar Heel state after a federal court ordered the legislature to redraw the districts because of racial gerrymandering used when drawing the maps. Legislative leaders made clear when announcing the new congressional districts that the new map was drawn with intent to keep the GOP’s 10-3 majority from North Carolina in the US House of Representatives.

While the lawsuit focuses on congressional districts, the federal court also ruled the legislative districts were unconstitutional but allowed the districts to be used this November. The court said it was too close to the election for new districts to be drawn, approved and a new primary to be held.

Southern Coalition for Social Justice executive director Anita Earls issued the following statement regarding Thursday’s lawsuit.

“The Constitution guarantees everyone’s right to participate equally in an electoral system that does not discriminate against them because of their beliefs. It’s clear that the intent and effect of creating North Carolina’s 2016 congressional maps were to manipulate the democratic process. The result disparages voters and ensures that one party can maintain political power even when a majority of the state’s voters do not support them.”

Campaign Legal Center executive director Gerry Hebert also issued a statement.

“When it comes to congressional districts, North Carolina’s are an extreme and egregious partisan gerrymander. Packing and cracking voters in districts based on their political ideology and voting history classifies voters in an invidious manner unrelated to any legitimate legislative objective. Radical partisan gerrymandering like that in this case turns democracy on its head. For the sake of North Carolina voters and voters across our nation, this practice must come to an end. The implementation of our efficiency gap standard would go a long way in ensuring that every voter is entitled to equal protection under the law and having their voice heard.”

New Poll Shows Cooper and Ross Leading North Carolina Races

Democrats are gaining ground on or expanding the gap between their Republican counterparts in North Carolina ahead of November’s election, according to survey numbers released Thursday.

A New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll shows that the race for president is tied in the battleground Tar Heel state with both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump polling at 41 percent in a three-way race. When the third-party candidate is removed from the question, Clinton leads 45/43.

While North Carolina has been described as a “must-have” state for Trump to have a chance at winning the White House, the poll survey said that the “presidential contest might be the least of the Republican Party’s worries in this rapidly changing state.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Roy Cooper is leading Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory by eight points at 50/42, according to the new numbers.

Meanwhile in the race for North Carolina’s United States Senate seat, Democratic challenger Deborah Ross has a four-point lead, 46/42, over Republican incumbent Richard Burr. Nate Cohn wrote when summarizing the poll that the North Carolina Senate race “is among the handful that seem likely to decide control of the Senate.”

Cohn added that the shift in the state’s politics may be occurring because “well-educated white voters are rejecting Republican candidates in North Carolina.” Cohn wrote that, “none of the Republican candidates led among white voters with a college degree.” He noted also that is a group Republican Mitt Romney won by nearly 30 percentage points when running against President Barack Obama in 2012.

The survey shows that Trump is leading Clinton by a 66/17 margin among white voters without a college degree.

Polling numbers have been coming out of North Carolina all week. Elon released surveys this week showing McCrory with a three-point lead over Cooper, Ross with a one-point lead over Burr and Trump with a one-point lead over Clinton. Public Policy Polling released survey results on Wednesday showing Cooper with a five-point lead over McCrory, Burr and Ross tied at 41 percent and Trump with a two-point lead over Clinton.