Polls this close to election day (tomorrow), when absentee ballots and early voting have already taken place, are notoriously sketchy. However, the PPP Poll (full pdf below) does have all of the head-to-head matchups included, and those can put some of the media hype to rest.
Donald Trump is leading in the overall polled responses, and also would be leading each of the candidates individually in head-to-head contests.
(Via PPP) […] Compared to a month ago Trump’s support is up 15 points and Cruz’s is up 14 points. Kasich’s remained in place, and Rubio has seen his support collapse 9 points. Trump appears to already be building up a lead among early voters – he’s at 46% to 38% for Cruz, 11% for Kasich, and 4% for Rubio. Among those planning to vote on election day Trump gets 43% to 32% for Cruz, 11% for Kasich, and 8% for Rubio.
If there’s a path to #NeverTrump in North Carolina it’s Kasich and Rubio voters uniting around Cruz. Trump’s lead over Cruz declines to 49/43 when the two are matched head to head because Rubio voters overwhelmingly move to Cruz in that scenario (70/20) and Kasich voters move to Cruz as well, although by a pretty narrow 39/34 margin.
One big thing Trump has going for him is that he has the most committed supporters. 89% of Trump voters say they’ll definitely cast their ballots for him, compared to 84% of Cruz, 68% of Rubio, and 65% of Kasich supporters who say the same for their candidate. Cruz needs to hope those Rubio and Kasich voters open to changing their minds gravitate toward him if he’s going to have a chance to win the state.
Interestingly Kasich is now the most broadly popular candidate in North Carolina, with a 60/23 favorability rating. Trump’s next at 56/38, followed by Cruz at 51/35, and continuing the recent trend Rubio is now under water in his image with North Carolina Republicans as just 39% see him favorably to 48% who have a negative opinion.