- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2016

A new poll showed a dead heat in the swing state of North Carolina between presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her GOP rival Donald Trump.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were tied at 43 percent in a theoretical match-up that included third-party contenders, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Thursday.

Libertarian Gary Johnson got 4 percent, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein captured 2 percent. Another 7 percent were undecided, the poll said.

In a two-way race, Mr. Trump topped Mrs. Clinton 48 percent to 46 percent, which was within the poll’s margin of error and statistically insignificant.

North Carolina has emerged as a key swing state, recording the second-closest outcome in the last two presidential election, going Democrat in 2008 and Republican in 2012.

“North Carolina’s really entered the top echelon of swing states,” said PPP President Dean Debnam. “The race is dead even here, and you can see how seriously the campaigns are taking it by virtue of Clinton and Trump both having come here in the last week.”

The poll showed that Mr. Johnson, although only getting 4-percent support, was clearly hurting Mr. Trump in North Carolina. About 64 percent of his supporters said they would pick Mr. Trump over Mrs. Clinton if they had to choose just between the two.

At this point, the Libertarian candidate is costing Mr. Trump a couple of points, the pollsters said.

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