The latest on the presidential horse race.

Republicans Close In But Hillary Clinton Still Leads in North Carolina

PPP, 3/6-3/9
North Carolina

  • Clinton: 47, Bush: 46
  • Clinton: 46, Christie: 42
  • Clinton: 49, Paul: 43
  • Clinton: 49, Huckabee: 42

North Carolina voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but opted for Mitt Romney in 2012. North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes have become a key swing state and the race is currently as tight as could be expected. According to a new PPP poll, Hillary Clinton leads Jeb Bush in North Carolina by a mere one point.

The poll, conducted between March 6 and March 9, sampling 884 North Carolina voters, found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has seen her lead dwindle and now leads former Florida Governor Jeb Bush by a margin of 47-46. The poll has a 3.3 percent margin of error so it’s entirely possible that Clinton trails at this point. In the last poll, conducted in early February, Clinton led Bush by 4 percent.

The other candidates aren’t too far behind. In a hypothetical 2016 matchup against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the former First Lady leads by a margin of 46-42. In the February poll, Clinton led by a similar 45-42 margin.

In a hypothetical 2016 matchup against Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the former New York Senator leads by a margin of 49-43. Hillary appears to be inching upward after leading by a 47-44 margin in February.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is the farthest back, trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee by a margin of 49-42. In February, Huckabee trailed by five points.

Although the race is tight, it’s interesting that Clinton leads all challengers given that 48 percent of respondents voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and just 47 percent voted for Obama. Many Romney voters aren’t swayed by the current GOP pack. Just 86 percent of Romney voters say they would vote for Bush, 81 percent say they would vote for Huckabee, 82 percent say they would vote for Paul, and a mere 76 percent would vote for Christie.

On the other hand, more than 90 percent of Obama voters say they will vote for Clinton in 2016.

(Image courtesy of Remy Steinegger, World Economic Forum)