Suffolk University North Carolina Poll Shows Biden Leading Trump by 3 Points

Former Vice President Joe Biden (46 percent) leads President Donald Trump (43 percent) in North Carolina, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll of voters likely to cast ballots in the November presidential election. Libertarian Jo Jorgensen was the choice of 5 percent of voters, and 4 percent of voters were undecided.

“The demographic battle lines are clearly delineated in the Tar Heel State,” said David Paleologos director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. 

The race for president cuts clearly among the following demographics:

  • Race – Trump leads 55-36 among whites and Biden leads 82-8 among Blacks
  • Gender – Trump leads 46-41 among men and Biden leads 51-40 among women
  • Education – Trump leads 53-38 among high school grads or less, Biden leads 51-35 among college grads or higher
  • Gun owners – Trump leads 54-37 among gun owners and Biden leads 63-24 among non-gun owning households
  • Issues – Trump leads 62-27 among those who said jobs/economy is the most important issue and Biden leads 73-19 among those who said COVID-19 is most important

Senate race

In the race for U.S. Senate, Democrat Cal Cunningham (42 percent) leads Republican Senator Thom Tillis (38 percent) followed by Libertarian Shannon Bray (6 percent), Constitution Party Kevin Hayes (2 percent), and 11 percent undecided.

Governor’s race

Democratic Governor Roy Cooper (50 percent) is well positioned to win reelection over Republican challenger Dan Forest (38 percent), Libertarian Stephen DiFiore II (5 percent), Constitution Party Al Pisano (1 percent), with 6 percent undecided.

“Libertarian ballot options in the race for president, governor, and U.S. Senate are helping the Democrats in all three contests,” Paleologos said. 

Coronavirus in play

Trump faces a coronavirus pandemic that does not bode well for him electorally. When likely voters were asked to rate President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 51 percent scored him as poor and 11 percent gave him a fair rating.

Mail-in voting

As mail-in ballots are beginning to be returned to election officials across North Carolina, there is concern that widespread mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud. Nearly 6 in 10 (57 percent) North Carolinians likely to vote were very or somewhat concerned, while 42 percent were not very or not at all concerned. The issue has become partisan as 65 percent of Democrats were not very/not at all concerned while 86 percent of Republicans were very/somewhat concerned. Among unaffiliated voters concern split 48 percent very/somewhat concerned versus 49 percent not very/not at all concerned.


The North Carolina survey of 500 likely voters was conducted September 11 – September 14, 2020 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the 2020 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, [email protected]


Media Contact

Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs
[email protected]