Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in North Carolina and several other key battleground states in the race for the presidency, according to a survey done by Public Policy Polling.  The survey was conducted after Monday night’s debate between the two candidates.  Public Policy Polling conducted the survey on behalf of VoteVets Action Fund.

In North Carolina, 44 percent of voters chose Clinton, 42 percent selected Donald Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson received seven percent and seven percent remain undecided.  In a two way race between the Democratic candidate, Clinton, and the Republican candidate, Trump, Clinton’s lead grows to four points, 49-45.

Public Policy Polling surveyed North Carolinians prior to the debate.  In that poll, released on September 21, Trump held a two-point lead when Johnson was included.  Trump and Clinton were tied in a head-to-head match-up.  So, the new poll shows a four-point swing in Clinton’s favor.

PPP also conducted a post-debate national survey, which shows Clinton leading Trump 44-40. In that survey, 54 percent of Americans said they think Clinton won the debate; only 31 percent said Trump won. (PPP saw different results in a flash poll conducted immediately after the debate: voters there also said Clinton won, but by a smaller margin, 51-40. PPP director Tom Jensen says media coverage accounts for the difference: Americans did generally see Clinton as the winner, but that opinion grew more entrenched as pundits reinforced it over the week.)

PPP director Tom Jensen spoke Thursday with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.


Experts believe the state of North Carolina will play a vital role in determining the next President of the United States.  The election prediction website FiveThirtyEight places North Carolina fourth out of the 50 states on their “Tipping-Point Chance” scale.  This the probability that a state will provide the decisive vote in the Electoral College.

Public Policy Polling’s post-debate battleground state survey also polled voters in Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Florida.  Clinton enjoys six point leads in Virginia, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.  In Florida, it’s a two-point lead for Clinton.

Monday night’s debate is credited for Clinton’s boost.  In all five states surveyed, respondents saw Clinton as the debate’s winner by wide margins.  In North Carolina, 53 percent of those surveyed said Clinton won the debate and 31 percent gave the win to Trump.  Clinton did particularly well in the debate with voters under 30 in North Carolina.  Those voters gave her a 59-17 victory over Trump.

Public Policy Polling also surveyed North Carolina voters about the races for governor and senator.

Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper- race for governor

Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper (Photos by Blake Hodge)

Democratic challenger Roy Cooper holds a three-point lead over Republican incumbent Pat McCrory when Libertarian challenger Lon Cecil is included – Cooper gets 45 percent, McCrory gets 42 percent, and Cecil gets four percent.  Undecided voters make up nine percent of respondents.  Cooper’s lead stretches to five points in a head-to-head match-up with McCrory, 49-44.

This shows a slight tightening of the gubernatorial race when compared to Public Policy Polling’s most recent previous survey.  In the survey released on September 21, Cooper held a 46/41 lead in the three-way race and a 50/43 lead in the head-to-head match-up.

In the race for one of North Carolina’s seats in the Senate, Republican Richard Burr regains his lead over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross.  Burr holds a 41/39 lead over Ross.  Libertarian Sean Haugh is polling at six percent and 14 percent are undecided.  Burr’s lead grows to four points in a two-way race against Ross, 46-42.

In Public Policy Polling’s most recent previous survey, Ross tied Burr 41/41.

Like the presidential race in the state, the battle for North Carolina’s Senate seat has major national implications.  FiveThirtyEight views the race in North Carolina as the race most likely to determine which party controls the Senate.