Fox News Poll: North Carolina voters split over Trump, Republican Sen. Tillis

President Donald Trump trails Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden by a 47-45 percent margin, according to a Fox News survey of North Carolina registered voters.

That 2-point edge is within the survey’s margin of sampling error.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton by nearly four points in North Carolina in 2016.

If the election ultimately is about the economy, that should help Trump.  By a 9-point margin, Tar Heel voters think he would do a better job than Biden at managing it.

If it turns on race relations, Biden has a 13-point advantage over the president.

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Equal numbers, 45 percent apiece, trust Biden and Trump on dealing with immigration, while Biden has a 4-point edge on coronavirus.

There’s a 21-point gender gap in the presidential vote preference: men prefer Trump by 9 points, while women pick Biden by 12.

Trump gets majority backing among white voters (+21 points), rural areas (+15), and whites without a college degree (+37).  Seniors narrowly break for the president (+4).

The former vice president’s best support comes from Black voters (+78 points), suburban areas (+21), independents (+20), and Millennials (+16).

Those who feel “extremely” motivated about voting in November put Biden up by 3 points (50-47 percent).

Enthusiasm for his reelection motivates most Trump supporters (65 percent) rather than fear of a Biden presidency (27 percent).  It is the reverse among Biden supporters: 53 percent are motivated by fear of Trump winning, while for 37 percent it is enthusiasm about a Biden victory.

North Carolinians like the job Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is doing.  More approve than disapprove by a 20-point margin, 57-37 percent.  More than eight-in-ten Democrats approve of Cooper, as do 64 percent of independents and 28 percent of Republicans.

They are less keen on the president.  He’s underwater by 3 points (48 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove).

“The positive views of Gov. Cooper’s job performance are even more notable given his high-profile fight with the Trump campaign over holding the Republican Convention in North Carolina,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the survey with Republican counterpart Daron Shaw.

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Voters divide over the job Republican Thom Tillis is doing as senator:  44 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove.  Sixteen percent are unsure, including 13 percent of Republicans.

Tillis won the seat in 2014 with 48.8 percent, defeating Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan by less than 2 points.

Currently, Tillis is 2 points behind Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, 39-37 percent.  Six percent of voters back a third-party candidate and another 15 percent are undecided.

The candidates are on par when it comes to party loyalty, as 77 percent of Republicans back Tillis and 77 percent of Democrats support Cunningham.  Independents prefer Cunningham by a 30-16 percent margin, but a 39-percent plurality is undecided and 11 percent back someone else.

It could hurt Tillis that 54 percent of voters who are undecided in the Senate race disapprove of Trump.

Conducted June 20-23 2020 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,012 North Carolina voters, randomly selected from a statewide voter file, who spoke with live interviewers on landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.

Fox News' Victoria Balara contributed to this report.