Trump leads in NC, surprise candidate makes poll

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Thursday, August 20, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks to the media after arriving by helicopter at a nearby ballpark before Trump attended the Iowa State Fair.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel-AP

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's lead continues to grow in North Carolina, according to a poll released Wednesday by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling but it's the surprise inclusion of an independent candidate that's turning heads.

Update: ABC11 asks "Is this for real?" and sits down with the poll's director

The new PPP poll revealed independent candidate Deez Nuts is polling at 9 percent in the Tar Heel state. The name is from a legal document to register as a candidate. Running as an independent from Wallingford, Iowa; population 197, Deez Nuts has gone viral and has a large fan base.

The Daily Beast claimed in a post Wednesday night to have tracked Mr. Nuts down, and reported he's actually a 15-year-old named Brady Olson.

A spokesperson for the Federal Election Commission told ABC11 that the person had met the requirements to be listed as running, but the person's real name was not included.

Related: Meet the most interesting 2016 candidates you've never heard of

The PPP poll done in July showed Trump leading the Republican field at 16 percent. The newest survey of N.C. shows Trump has risen steeply to 24 percent, while all others are lagging behind. Ben Carson is Trump's biggest competition right now in North Carolina, polling at 14 percent.

According to PPP, Trump leads the GOP with moderates, 'somewhat conservative voters,' 'very conservative voters,' men, women, middle-aged voters, younger voters, and seniors.

See full poll results here.

Jeb Bush is polling at 13 percent, Ted Cruz at ten percent, Marco Rubio at nine percent, and six percent each for Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker.

The survey shows Hillary Clinton is still leading with Democrats in North Carolina at 55 percent. Bernie Sanders is trailing Clinton with 19 percent.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 957 voters from Aug. 12 to Aug. 16, including 477 Democratic primary voters and 406 Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the overall survey is +/-3.2 percent.

PPP has been conducting polls since 2001 and claims to be one of the most accurate.

Click here for past ABC11 stories on PPP polls.

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