U.S. Rep. Ted Budd is growing his lead in the North Carolina Senate race. Budd cracked the 50% mark in the latest East Carolina University poll.
Democrat Cheri Beasley garnered just 44% support in the survey.
Among those polled, just 5% were undecided with the remaining preferring some other candidate.
Republican Budd’s lead has grown since ECU last polled in early September, when he led Beasley by just 3 percentage points.
Budd can attribute his gains, at least in part, to women. Beasley still holds an advantage there, at 48% to 46%, but the margin has slipped significantly. She previously led among women voters 52% to 41%.
Budd continues to maintain the advantage among men, at 54% to 39% and a significant lead among working class White voters without a four-year college degree, at 72% to 22%.
His advantage is narrow among college educated men, at 51% to 44%.
Beasley performs strongest among African American voters, among whom she has a nearly 8 to 1 advantage at 83% to 11% over Budd.
Budd leads among senior voters age 65 and older (58% to 37%) while Beasley leads young voters under the age of 40 (48% to 42%.) Budd captures those in between with 50% support to Beasley’s 44%.
Not surprisingly, Budd maintains leads in more rural and suburban areas of western and easter North Carolina while Beasley leads in the more urban areas of Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte.
Budd’s surge in the poll mirror’s a slip in approval ratings for President Joe Biden. In the ECU September poll Biden’s approval rating was at 44%. During the most recent poll it declined to just 38%.
“Although it is still competitive, Ted Budd is the favorite to win North Carolina’s U.S. Senate election based on our latest poll numbers,” ECU Center for Survey Research Director Peter Francia said.
The tight race is enough to give Democrats hope that they can swing a key pick-up in a state former President Donald Trump carried in 2020.
Beasley and Budd are running for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who is retiring.