In the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Richard Burr, an Emerson College Polling/The Hill Poll finds Congressman Ted Budd with 38% of support in the Republican primary, followed by former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory at 22% and former Congressman Mark Walker at 9%; 23% are undecided.

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling noted, “Budd and McCrory are evenly split with 31% apiece among suburban voters; however, rural voters break for Budd 42% to McCrory’s 11%.”

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republican primary voters say Trump’s endorsement makes them more likely to vote for a candidate. “Half of undecided voters in the Republican primary say Trump’s endorsement of a candidate makes them more likely to support a candidate,” Kimball said.

The poll tested a series of hypothetical general election match-ups against likely Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley. Budd leads Beasley 50% to 43%, with 8% undecided. McCrory trails Beasley 43% to 41%, with 17% undecided. Walker leads Beasley 47% to 42% with 11% undecided. Against Marjorie K. Eastman, Beasley is tied 44% to 44% with 12% undecided.

President Biden has a job approval of 44% in North Carolina, while 52% disapprove of the job he is doing. “Biden has a 57% approval among those with a college degree, but that drops to 35% among voters without a college degree,” Kimball pointed out.

Forty-six percent (46%) of North Carolina voters blame the Biden Administration for the increase in gas prices, while 18% blame gas and oil companies, 16% blame gas and oil sanctions against Russia, 9% blame the supply chain, 5% blame Putin, 4% blame COVID-19, and 4% are unsure.

The most important issue voters see facing North Carolina is the economy at 37% which included jobs, inflation, and taxes. Healthcare follows with 21% and education with 14%.

Voters were asked if the United States should send troops to Ukraine; 44% said no, 28% said yes and 28% were undecided.

Voters are split on the issue of sports gambling: 42% think it should be legal and 37% think it should remain illegal; 22% were unsure.

A majority of voters, 53% think North Carolina runs far elections, 24% think it does not and 23% are unsure. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democratic voters think the state runs fair elections compared to 47% of Republican voters.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters think marijuana should be legal for medical purposes while 19% who thought it should not. When asked about recreational marijuana, 46% think it should be legal and 43% think it should be kept illegal.


The Emerson College/The Hill North Carolina poll was conducted April 2-4, 2022. The general election sample consisted of registered voters in North Carolina, n=1,047 with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The Republican primary sample consisted of likely voters, n=508, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 4.3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, and region based on 2020 turnout modeling. 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 a cellphone sample of SMS-to-web, an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk, and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines.

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