Hey everyone! I was in New York for work and in London and Paris for vacation. I also got a little sick coming home from vacation. So I’ve been recovering and I wanted to play a little catch-up. Today, I’ll be focused on North Carolina’s down-ballot races and right now, there’s not a lot of good news for Trump and GOP in the Tar Heel State

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) trails one of his Democratic challengers by 7 points in North Carolina’s 2020 Senate race, according to a new poll.

Tillis, one of the more endangered Senate Republicans running for reelection, trails state Sen. Erica Smith (D) 46 percent to 39 percent in an Emerson College poll released Tuesday, while 15 percent of voters are undecided.

Democrats view North Carolina’s Senate seat as a potential pickup opportunity in 2020 as the party seeks to chip away at the GOP’s 53-47 majority in the upper chamber.

Beyond Smith, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller has also jumped into the Democratic primary to challenge Tillis. Support for Fuller was not polled in the Emerson College survey.

In a sign Republicans across the ticket may face trouble in the Tar Heel State, President Trump also trails multiple Democratic challengers, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the poll.

The full results also show good news for the incumbent Governor Roy Cooper (D. NC):

In the Governor’s race, the incumbent Democrat Roy Cooper leads his potential Republican opponent Lt. Governor Dan Forest, 52% to 38%, with 10% undecided.

Caller ID

The North Carolina Statewide Emerson College poll was conducted May 31-June 3, 2019 under the Supervision of Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=932, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.1 percentage points. The data was weighted by gender, party, ethnicity, education,region, and age based on 2016 voter model. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=527) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=405). Visit our website at ​www.emersonpolling.com​.

That’s not the only good news for Democrats and bad news for Republicans to come out of North Carolina this week. The DKE team highlighted this poll from a conservative organization about the upcoming special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District:


Atlantic Media & Research completed 358 surveys of registered voters
who said their chances of voting in the September Special Election
for Congress were “definite” or “very likely” on May 20-23 and May
28-30, 2019.

Response rates were very low, indicating turnout will be key in this
election. The theoretical margin of error is +/- 5.2 percent in 95
percent of cases on a 50 percent response.

Calls were made by live callers from our facilities in Nags Head,
North Carolina. 58 percent of completed surveys were to cellphone
numbers while 42 percent went to landlines. Among those definitely
voting, 54 percent completed surveys on cellphone numbers and 46
percent on landlines.


There’s been little movement in this race since December despite a
big Republican Primary and a new candidate. As was the case with
Mark Harris before him, Dan Bishop underperforms the generic ballot.
The difference between the two elections is that Harris ran worse in
the immediate Charlotte suburbs, while Bishop underperforms more in
the East where he is less known.

The biggest problem Republicans face is a poorly motivated
electorate, and a result of a nominee defined by his support for HB2,
legislation even his own party threw overboard.
To win this election, the Bishop team needs to make HB2 a plus
because if not the race will be a referendum on “hate” and Bishop
will lose. The open-endeds, which we will not discuss in detail in
this memo, make that clear.

McCready leads Bishop 41-39, very similar to his 46-43 lead over
Harris in our December survey. But we’re putting more stock in the numbers from “definite” voters (70 percent of the sample), where
McCready holds a 44-40 lead.

North Carolina is going to be a big state for us this year to win and we have to be ready. Click below to donate and get involved with these North Carolina Democrats campaigns:

Dan McCready for Congress

Erica Smith for U.S. Senate

Roy Cooper for Governor

Josh Stein for Attorney General

  • June 6, 2019
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