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HPU Poll: NC Residents Pessimistic About Direction of Country and N.C. Economy

10.2.2013

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 2, 2013 – A new HPU Poll finds only one in five North Carolina residents say the country is going in the right direction, and most think that the national and North Carolina economies are getting worse.

Twenty percent of North Carolina residents questioned for the HPU Poll say that the country is headed in the right direction while 72 percent say that the country is seriously off on the wrong track. This is comparable to the 69 percent who said the country was on the wrong track in an HPU Poll earlier in September.

More than half of respondents – 54 percent – say economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting worse while 52 percent say the same thing about the North Carolina economy. In each case, only about a third of people – 35 and 32 percent respectively – say economic conditions are getting better.

“For some time, we have been tracking North Carolinians’ pessimistic views about the direction of the country and economic conditions here in North Carolina and the country as a whole,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and assistant professor of political science. “We’ll continue to track these attitudes closely for signs that North Carolinians are seeing changes in the economic climate.”

All adults – Country direction

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 20 percent
Wrong track – 72 percent
Don’t know/refused – 9 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All adults – National economy

Right now, do you think the economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse?

Getting better – 35 percent
Getting worse – 54 percent
Neither better nor worse – 10 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All adults – North Carolina economy

Right now, do you think the economic conditions in the state of North Carolina are getting better or getting worse?

Getting better – 32 percent
Getting worse – 52 percent
Neither better nor worse – 12 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 4 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All adults – Country direction (Sept. 8 – 12)

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 20 percent
Wrong track – 69 percent
Don’t know/refused – 11 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 8 – 12, 2013, n = 408 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 22 – 26. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 447 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.7 percentage points for these respondents. The data are weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

The earlier survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 8 – 12. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 408 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 5 percentage points for these respondents. The data are weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://src.highpoint.edu

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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