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Poll: Whopping edge for Trump over Biden in bellwether state

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(The Center Square) – Voting for the winning candidate 64.5% of the time since 1900, North Carolina has carved a bellwether spot in presidential elections.

And that’s even missing the last one.

The trend is notable alongside a new poll that, so far, is an outlier in margin though not in choice. In analysis April 8-14 of 703 registered voters in the state, former Republican President Donald Trump outdistanced Democratic President Joe Biden 51%-41% as the only two names on the ballot, and 48%-38% with five candidates listed.

The sampling was by Bloomberg News/Morning Consult. The margin of error is +/-4%.

In a two-day polling of 600 registered voters the same week by Carolina Journal, Trump led Biden 43.4%-39%. That poll’s credibility interval was +/-3.99%.

In a poll conducted March 22-30 by High Point University with 829 registered voters, Trump led Biden 45%-42%. The credibility interval was +/-3.4%.

In another Carolina Journal poll taken a month earlier, the day after Super Tuesday primaries in the state, Trump led Biden 45.2%-39.8%. The poll was of 600 likely voters and credibility interval +/-3.99%.

Though many politicians and major political parties lay claim to the state being a 50/50 split, the context is certainly purple but it has been more than 15 years since coming remotely close to such a division – and a claim that, even then, would have been a stretch.

And the pattern in presidential elections, once for Democrats much of the last century, is clearly Republican.

First the electorate. As of Saturday, the state’s more than 7.4 million registered voters are 36.9% unaffiliated, 32.3% Democrats, 30% Republicans. On May 1, 2004, ahead of George W. Bush’s reelection, the more than 5 million registered voters were 47.4% Democrats, 34.5% Republicans and 17.9% unaffiliated.

In the election years of President Barack Obama, the 2008 electorate of more than 6.2 million was 45.8% Democrats, 31.9% Republicans and 22.2% unaffiliated. Four years later on Election Day, there were more than 6.6 million registered, broken into 43.2% Democrats, 30.9% Republicans and 25.7% unaffiliated.

Unaffiliateds have gained 1.8 million voters in 20 years while the state’s total registered has increased more than 2.3 million. The bloc has gained 1.18 million since Obama’s historic election, just more than 796,000 since his reelection.

Democrats, in 20 years, number 2,756 less. Their gains for 2008 and 2012 are long gone significantly, with more than 464,000 fewer than when Biden started his second vice presidential term.

Republicans’ gains have been modest, though they do number more than 485,000 in 20 years. It’s only been 183,200 since Election Day 2012.

As for pattern, only Jimmy Carter (1976) and Obama (2008) have carried the state since Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. And neither carried the state in reelection bids against Ronald Reagan (1980) and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (2012).

As for Trump and Biden, the Floridian was a 1.3% winner head-to-head in 2020. Biden, however, scored a 306-232 victory in electoral college votes. In 2016, Trump won North Carolina over Hillary Clinton by 3.6% and the electoral college 304-277.

From 1900 through Johnson’s 1964 triumph, the lone Republican to carry the state was Herbert Hoover in 1928.

North Carolina, ninth-most populous state at about 10.8 million, has 16 electoral college votes this year.

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