Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) at Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) listens to Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. With less than a month until the presidential election, President Donald Trump tapped Amy Coney Barrett to be his third Supreme Court nominee in just four years. If confirmed, Barrett would replace the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)

Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has opened up a double-digit lead in the race for North Carolina’s US Senate seat. The latest PoliticalIQ poll shows 46% of Likely North Carolina Voters support Cunningham, while 36% of Likely Voters favor incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis. The survey, conducted by Scott Rasmussen, shows that 7% of Likely Voters say they will vote for someone else, while 12% are unsure. On the favorability scale, only 37% of voters either strongly or somewhat approve of the job Tillis is doing, while 52% either strongly or somewhat disapprove.

The vote comes down across the usual partisan divide, with 81% of Republicans favoring Tillis, and 86% of Democrats favoring Cunningham. But among those not identifying as either Republican or Democrat, Cunningham leads Tillis by double digits, 38% to 27%. In 2016, Tillis won a tight Senate race against Democrat Kay Hagan, 49% to 47%.

In the upcoming race for Governor, Democrat Roy Cooper is comfortably leading Republican challenger Dan Forest. Among Likely North Carolina Voters, 51% plan to vote for Cooper, while 37% plan to support Forest. PoliticalIQ polling shows that 3% plan to vote for another candidate and 9% are unsure. In terms of job performance, 56% of North Carolina Likely Voters either strongly or somewhat approve of Cooper. In comparison, 37% either strongly or somewhat disapproved of the job he is doing as Governor.

As in the Senate race, those not affiliated with either major party will play a key role in deciding who will be the next North Carolina Governor. Cooper is currently leading among these voters 50% to 27%. Cooper defeated Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory by less than one percentage point in 2016.

PoliticalIQ data released earlier shows that former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump 47% to 45% in North Carolina. However, that race is close enough that a strong Republican turnout could lead to a Trump victory.


The survey of 800 Likely North Carolina Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen from October 7-11, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Respondents were randomly selected from a list of Registered Voters and contacted via text or through a process of Random Digital Engagement. The Likely Voter sample was derived from a larger sample of Registered Voters using screening questions and other factors. Certain quotas were applied to the larger sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the state’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Thirty-two percent (32%) of the Likely Voters either identify as Republican or Lean Republican. Thirty-six percent (36%) either identify as a Democrat or Lean Democrat. Thirty-two percent (32%) do not identify with either major party.

NC Governor and Senator
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