Another poll shows Budd up 4% on Beasley

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ted Budd.

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  • “I think we peaked a little early," Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way told Politico, regarding the Democrats' hopes for the midterm election.

Recent polling reveals an emerging trend in favor of Republican Ted Budd over Democrat Cheri Beasley in the contest for North Carolina’s open U.S. Senate seat.

A Marist poll released Oct. 26 put Budd up 49% to 45% over Beasley among those definitely voting in the election, now less than two weeks away.

The poll is the fourth survey in the last few days to show an apparent breakaway for Budd over the margin of error. A Civitas poll gave Budd a 47% to 43% advantage among likely voters, a Trafalgar poll put the advantage at 48% to 44%, and an East Carolina University poll gave the widest margin of support at 50% to 44%. This movement towards Budd comes after the race was considered a toss-up a month ago, with a Civitas poll in late September showing the race tied. 

“The tale of the tape is all about turnout,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement. “Both Budd and Beasley have a large following in the state of their candidacies but Beasley’s core group, especially younger voters and women, are not as likely to vote.”

The trendline reflects growing national support for Republicans as voters appear to be coming home to focus on kitchen-table issues related to inflation and the economy.

The Marist poll found that 38% of North Carolinians definitely voting in the election ranked inflation as the top-of-mind issue when they go to the ballot box, followed by “preserving democracy” at 27%, abortion at 15%, immigration at 7%, and health care and crime at 6% each.

Democrats have largely focused on abortion and the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. The Marist poll found that Independent voters and female voters were more likely to rank “threats to democracy” as their top concern than access to abortions. But both groups tended to put inflation above these other issues.

Among Independents, 40% said inflation was their top issue, while 47% of non-college educated white women said the same. The only demographics to put an issue other than inflation as a higher priority were registered Democrats — 34% of whom said “threats to democracy” and 24% abortion — and college-educated white women — 36% of whom said “threats to democracy” and 28% abortion.

On President Joe Biden’s approval rating, 37% approve and 56% disapprove.