Poll: Trump ahead among NC unaffiliated voters

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Fairfield

RALEIGH — A poll released Thursday shows that Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton among unaffiliated voters in North Carolina 38 to 28 percent. The poll is from N.C. conservative think tank the Civitas Institute and also shows that unaffiliated voters have an increasingly favorable view Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, at 46 percent favorable, compared to 40 percent this time last year. His opponent, Democrat Roy Cooper, is polling 31 percent favorable. Cooper had his unfavorable numbers double in a year, jumping from 14 percent to 26 percent. The poll found that among unaffiliated voters, McCrory leads Cooper 43 percent to 35 percent with 16 percent undecided.”McCrory is right side up in his favorability for the first time in years, so he is in the right place going into elections,” said Francis X. DeLuca, president of Civitas.The poll, conducted by Adam Geller of National Research Inc., zeroed in on unaffiliated voters only, the fastest growing segment of the N.C. voter base. As a swing state, N.C. went narrowly for Barack Obama in 2008 and narrowly for Mitt Romney in 2012. Analysts are saying that it’s increasingly evident that unaffiliated voters are likely to choose who gets the state’s 15 electoral votes in November.Civitas has been conducting this survey of unaffiliated voters each August for the past seven years. This year the telephone poll was taken from Aug. 11-16 and surveyed 400 registered, likely voters (33 percent on cell phones) with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.”The number of unaffiliated voters is truly growing in North Carolina — truly unaffiliated, as opposed to those who are partisan but do not want to put it down,” said DeLuca. This year unaffiliated voters are also more undecided on who will get their presidential vote. According to the poll, only 45 percent of the respondents have made up their mind on the top of the ticket. In 2012, Civitas showed that nearly 60 percent of them had already made up their minds in August between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. This year’s poll shows that 65 percent have an unfavorable view of Clinton while 52 percent had an unfavorable view of Trump. However, 23 percent view both of them unfavorably. Interestingly, McCrory is up among those 23 percent who view both unfavorably. “It appears that the more people hate those two, the better McCrory does,” laughed DeLuca.