In May, McCrory was 10 percentage points ahead of the Democrats' Dalton, in the same conservative-leaning poll.
However, in the latest poll taken between June 29 to July 1, McCrory only led Dalton by the margin of 46 percent to 44 percent. Granville County resident Howe was the choice of 7 percent of those polled.
"Although the polls differ somewhat in format, the data suggests that a significant portion of McCrory's support shifted to Howe when given the chance," Civitas President Francis X. De Luca said. "To win those votes in November, McCrory likely will have to persuade libertarian-minded voters that he too wants to and can rein in out-of-control government."