Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) is leading former North Carolina state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley (D) in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), according to a new survey from Emerson College Polling and The Hill.
Half of very likely voters in North Carolina say they’re backing Budd for the Senate seat, compared to 45 percent who support Beasley, the poll found. Two percent say they’re undecided.
One of Budd’s biggest advantages is his above-water favorability rating. The Hill-Emerson College poll found that 53 percent of voters view the three-term congressman favorably compared to 40 percent who see him in an unfavorable light.
Beasley’s favorability, on the other hand, is underwater at 46 percent to 48 percent, the poll found.
The North Carolina Senate race has been among the tightest of the 2022 midterm cycle, though it has often been overlooked nationally. Democrats have begun to pour more money into the race in recent weeks, however, as they look for new opportunities to flip GOP-held Senate seats.
Still, Budd’s lead appears to be expanding somewhat, following a trend that has emerged in Senate races across the country in the final stretch of the campaign season. The latest poll marks a 4-point improvement for Budd since September when he pulled 46 percent support in the same poll. Beasley’s support, meanwhile, grew by 2 percentage points.
The economy is the top issue for North Carolina voters heading into Election Day, with 41 percent naming it their most important priority, according to the most recent poll. Abortion access — a key part of Democrats’ messaging — is the second most important issue at 13 percent.
Republicans also appear poised to benefit from stubbornly high inflation. Nearly half of voters — 49 percent — say that they trust the GOP more to tackle rising prices. That includes 48 percent of independent voters, according to the poll.
The Emerson College-The Hill poll surveyed 1,000 very likely voters in North Carolina Oct. 27-29. It has a credibility interview — similar to a margin of error — of 3 percentage points.