With two months to go before the November general election, Republican Donald Trump (44 percent) leads Democrat Hillary Clinton (41 percent), by 3 points in North Carolina, according to a Suffolk University poll of likely voters in the Tar Heel State.

The poll is a statistical dead heat and is within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. When asked who they think will win the November presidential election, 49 percent said Clinton and 33 percent Trump, with 17 percent undecided.

Libertarian Gary Johnson was the choice of 4 percent of voters, with 8 percent undecided. Green Party nominee Jill Stein is not listed on the North Carolina ballot although voters may write in her name.

“North Carolina is very close, and so is the gender gap margin, though it’s not quite working in Hillary Clinton’s favor with Johnson in the mix,” said David Paleologos director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. Among men, Trump led 53 percent to 32 percent, with Johnson getting 3 percent, while among women Clinton led 49 percent to 36 percent, with Johnson at 5 percent.

Demographic trends

Forty percent of North Carolina voters are registered as Democrats, 30 percent as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.

Clinton gained the support of 84 percent of African-American voters in North Carolina compared to 7 percent for Trump. However, among white voters Trump led Clinton 57 percent to 28 percent.

Issues of concern

The voters polled said that the number one issue facing the next president is jobs/economy (24 percent) followed closely by terrorism and national security (21 percent), choosing Supreme Court nominees (11 percent), illegal immigration (7 percent), and education and health care (tied at 6 percent).

Among those most concerned about jobs and the economy, Trump led Clinton 46 percent to 36 percent, and among those who cited terrorism/national security as the most important issue, he led 58 percent to 33 percent. Clinton topped Trump 67 percent to 17 percent among voters most concerned about education, and those concerned about health care preferred Clinton 68 percent to 21 percent.

Among gun owner households Trump led Clinton 58 percent to 27 percent, while the numbers were flipped in households without guns: Clinton 58 percent to Trump’s 28 percent. Asked whether they have felt more or less safe living in America over the past five to 10 years, 52 percent said less safe; 30 percent said there was no change; and 13 percent said safer.

Both Clinton and Trump are seen as untrustworthy: Clinton by 60 percent of likely voters and Trump by 50 percent.

Senate Race

In the race for U.S. Senate, Republican Richard Burr (41 percent) led Democrat Deborah Ross (37 percent), with Libertarian Sean Haugh garnering 4 percent, and 16 percent undecided. Ross led Burr among Democrats 67 percent to 13 percent, but Burr countered among Republicans 74 percent to 12 percent. Burr led Ross 42 percent to 25 percent among independents, with 8 percent choosing Libertarian Haugh and 22 percent undecided.

Methodology

The North Carolina survey of 500 likely voters was conducted Sept. 5-7 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the 2016 general election. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, dpaleologos@suffolk.edu.