Poll: Biden, Trump locked in neck-and-neck battle for North Carolina

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop intelligence officials release statements criticizing leaking of Russian bounties information Russian bounty intel was included in Trump’s daily briefing: reports Senators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops MORE and Joe BidenJoe BidenRussian bounty intel was included in Trump’s daily briefing: reports House Dems to offer up road map to solve the climate crisis Supreme Court ruling could unleash new legal challenges to consumer bureau MORE are running neck-and-neck in North Carolina, with the former vice president holding a marginal 1-point lead in one of the election’s most crucial battleground states, according to a new poll from East Carolina University.

The poll shows Biden garnering 45 percent of the vote to Trump’s 44 percent. That’s well within the survey’s 3.4 percentage point margin of error.

But in a sign that the president’s support is trending downward amid several national crises, his approval rating dropped to 44 percent in North Carolina, down from 48 percent in a previous ECU poll fielded in May. His disapproval also jumped four points from last month, ticking up to 51 percent from 47 percent.

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North Carolina is a key electoral target for both parties this year. Not only is it expected to play a critical role in deciding the presidential race, but it is also the site of hotly contested Senate and gubernatorial races. 

In the Senate race, Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTrump faces bipartisan calls for answers on Russian-offered bounties Political establishment takes a hit as chaos reigns supreme Democrats optimistic about chances of winning Senate MORE (R-N.C.) and his Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham are locked in a tie, with each candidate garnering 41 percent support in the ECU poll. That contest is one of five where Democrats are targeting GOP incumbents they see as particularly vulnerable. 

The 41-41 percent tie is virtually unchanged from ECU’s May survey, which showed Tillis leading Cunningham 41 percent to 40 percent. 

Meanwhile, in North Carolina’s gubernatorial race, current Gov. Roy Cooper (D) holds a double-digit lead over his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. The poll shows Cooper notching 49 percent of the vote to Forest’s 38 percent. Still, that’s down from a 15-point lead for Cooper in the May poll. 

The ECU poll surveyed 1,149 registered North Carolina voters from June 22-25. It has a margin of sampling error of +/-3.4 percentage points.