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HPU/News & Record Poll: Guilford County Residents Give Congress Single-Digit Approval

11.18.2013

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 18, 2013 – A new HPU/News & Record Poll finds that Guilford County residents give Congress a mere 9 percent approval rating – the only single-digit approval rating that the poll has ever tracked – while 85 percent disapprove and 6 percent offer no opinion. Approval ratings for other elected officials at the national, state and local level vary but are not particularly high.

On the national level, 48 percent of Guilford County residents approve of President Barack Obama while 45 percent disapprove and 7 percent offer no opinion. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan received a 40 percent approval rating with 39 percent disapproving and 21 percent offering no opinion. Senator Richard Burr received a 32 percent approval rating with 35 percent disapproving and 33 percent offering no opinion.

At the state level, Gov. Pat McCrory receives 39 percent approval with 46 percent disapproving and 15 percent giving no opinion. The N.C. General Assembly receives approval from 33 percent of Guilford County residents while 46 percent disapprove and 22 percent offer no opinion.

At the local level, evaluations of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners as a whole is similar with 39 percent approving, 27 percent disapproving and 35 percent (about one-third) offering no opinion.

“No government officials are faring particularly well in the eyes of Guilford County’s residents, but there is a unique level of negativity toward the U.S. Congress,” said Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, assistant professor of psychology and associate director of the HPU Poll. “This is the first time that any of our surveys have found single-digit approval for any elected official or group.”

All adults – Presidential job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president?

Approve – 48 percent
Disapprove – 45 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 7 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

All adults – Senator Hagan job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Kay Hagan is handling her job as United States Senator?

Approve – 40 percent
Disapprove – 39 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 21 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

All adults – Senator Burr job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Richard Burr is handling his job as United States Senator?

Approve – 32 percent
Disapprove – 35 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 33 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

All adults – U.S. Congress job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?

Approve – 9 percent
Disapprove – 85 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 6 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

All adults – Governor job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Pat McCrory is handling his job as governor?

Approve – 39 percent
Disapprove – 46 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 15 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

All adults – North Carolina General Assembly job approval

And what about legislators in Raleigh? Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the North Carolina General Assembly is handling its job?

Approve – 33 percent
Disapprove – 46 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 22 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

All adults – Guilford County Board of Commissioners job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is handling its job?

Approve – 39 percent
Disapprove – 27 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 35 percent

(All adult (Guilford County resident) sample surveyed Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013, n = 703 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.7 percent)

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Nov. 4 – 7 and 9 – 12, 2013. The responses from a sample Guilford County landline telephone exchanges and cell phones associated with zip codes in Guilford County came from 703 adults with landline or cellular telephones. Those respondents were further screened to ensure they considered themselves to be residents of Guilford County. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 3.7 percentage points for these respondents. The data are weighted toward population estimates for 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.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/ . Memos with approval ratings for North Carolina from the early September, March, February and January 2013 HPU Polls are available at:

http://acme.highpoint.edu/~mkifer/src/24memob.pdf
http://acme.highpoint.edu/~mkifer/src/23memoc.pdf
http://acme.highpoint.edu/~mkifer/src/22memob.pdf
http://acme.highpoint.edu/~mkifer/src/21memoc.pdf

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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