Republican Mark Robinson is leading his Democratic opponent Josh Stein by a five percentage point margin in North Carolina’s race for governor, according to a new poll of registered voters by High Point University.

Robinson’s lead is statistically significant because it’s outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. Notably, 22% of registered voters are undecided in the race.

“The average of all the polls done so far in the race shows that the Stein-Robinson race is likely pretty close—within the margin of error,” said Dr. David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College in Raleigh. “As we have seen with recent NC governor’s races, this matchup is likely to be a close race, decided by a few points in either direction.”

In the presidential race, the High Point poll gave former President Donald Trump a slight edge at 44% to President Joe Biden’s 42%. Registered voters are more decisive in this matchup, with only 6% undecided.

“With only 6% of voters ‘unsure’ in their presidential vote, these results say that two-out-of-10 NC voters may be up for movement, but it’s likely we’ll see a majority of those unsure gubernatorial voters go to their respective partisan corners,” said Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of politics and history at Catawba College in Salisbury. “Along with the other horse races having a six to eight point ‘unsure’ response, that seems to indicate that the partisans within the gubernatorial unsure responses need to be moved to their respective corners, and that will likely happen by the traditional start of the general campaign on Labor Day. From there, it’s a fight over a shrinking pool of persuadable voters, one way or the other.”

The poll’s results show a stronger performance for Robinson than polls from this spring. The most recent Carolina Journal poll of likely voters put Robinson and Stein in a statistical dead heat. Robinson’s performance declined from April’s CJ poll. An Emerson College poll put the two candidates deadlocked at 42% for Robinson and 41% for Stein, while a Meredith College poll in April was more of an outlier in putting Stein up 45% to Robinson’s 36%.

“This early in the campaign, we should expect to see differences in poll results. By late September or early October, the polls should be a more accurate indicator of what North Carolinians are thinking about this matchup and reflect what each campaign is doing,” said McLennan.

The poll also gave the GOP an advantage on the generic congressional, with 46% picking Republicans for Congress compared to 43% picking Democrats. Asked if they would support a Republican or Democrat for the state House, 45% said they would fill in the oval for the GOP compared to 43% who would pick a Democrat. In contrast, 45% said they would pick a Democrat for state Senate and 43% would pick a Republican.

On the topic of inflation, 53% said that concerns about high prices affected major spending decisions in 2024. Forty-three percent said inflation has been worse in the last few months than they expected, while 32% said it had been about as expected.

On the “right track, wrong track” question, 63% said the US is headed the wrong way, and 54% said the same for North Carolina.

The sample size was 1,002 NC adults, 804 of whom are registered voters. The poll was in the field from May 2 to May 9.