HPU Poll: Hagan and Tillis Tied Among NC Likely Voters

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 13, 2014 – The HPU Poll finds that in North Carolina’s pivotal senate race, Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker of the House Thom Tillis are tied at 40 percent each when N.C. likely voters were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today.

Housed in High Point University’s Survey Research Center in High Point, North Carolina, the HPU Poll selected three pivotal U.S. Senate races that may determine who controls the U.S. Senate – Colorado, New Hampshire and North Carolina – to gain a snapshot of campaigns that may determine the U.S. Senate’s leadership. HPU administered a live interviewer poll of North Carolina voters and worked with SurveyUSA to poll the other states.

“We have been saying all along that North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race had the potential to be extremely close. These results show that it may be a tie going into the home stretch. Voters make two basic decisions: whether to vote and for whom they will vote when they get there. This particular race will likely hinge on how partisans make that first decision,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “Thinking about the results in these three races, we see some of the same factors playing out in North Carolina that are affecting incumbent re-election chances in our other highlighted states. President Obama’s approval is relatively low. People are pessimistic about the direction of the country. And the Republican Party makes a strong showing in the generic congressional ballot test.”

The results of the other competitive U.S. Senate races continued to indicate tight re-election battles for their respective incumbents. In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen received support from 48 percent of likely voters while former U.S. Sen. from Massachusetts Scott Brown received 46 percent of the likely voters’ support. In Colorado, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall received support from 42 percent of likely voters while U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner received 46 percent of the likely voters’ support.

Comparative results for these three U.S. Senate races, including the political indicators mentioned above are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2014/10/32memoB.pdf or http://goo.gl/jk6haO.

 

Likely voters – North Carolina Senate race

If the election for United States Senate were held today would you be voting for (names rotated) Republican Thom Tillis, or Democrat Kay Hagan, or Libertarian Sean Haugh?

Thom Tillis – 40 percent

Kay Hagan – 40 percent

Sean Haugh – 7 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 13 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9, n = 584 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

 

Likely voters – Colorado Senate race

If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you be voting for (names rotated) Republican Cory Gardner, Democrat Mark Udall, or some other candidate?

Cory Gardner – 46 percent

Mark Udall – 42 percent

Other – 7 percent

Undecided – 5 percent

(Colorado likely voter sample surveyed Oct. 4-8, n = 800 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

Likely voters – New Hampshire Senate race

If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you be voting for (names rotated) Republican Scott Brown, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, or some other candidate?

Scott Brown – 46 percent

Jeanne Shaheen – 48 percent

Undecided – 6 percent

(New Hampshire likely voter sample surveyed Oct. 4-8, n = 824 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.4 percent)

 

The High Point University Survey Research Center fielded the North Carolina version of this survey with live interviewers calling between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9, 2014. The responses came from 584 likely voters with landline (277 interviews) or cellular (307 interviews) telephones. First, the HPU Poll identified registered voters using a Registration Based Sampling (Voter List Sample) system that selected possible respondents from a statewide, North Carolina list of registered voters that had landline and cell phone numbers appended by a contractor. Likely voters were estimated by asking a screening question: “On November 4, North Carolina will hold its general election for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and other offices. How certain are you that you will vote in this election? Are you almost certain to vote, you probably will vote, your chances of voting are 50/50, or you will not vote in the November 2014 general election?” The only registered voters who passed the screen were those who responded “almost certain” or “probably” to the screening question AND voted in the 2010 general election in North Carolina, registered in North Carolina after 2010 and voted in the 2012 general election, or registered in North Carolina since 2012. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample, which was originally compiled by Aristotle (Washington, D.C.). The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.1 percentage points for this population of respondents. The data are weighted toward estimated turn out figures for age, gender and race based on North Carolina Board of Elections data and exit polls from past campaigns. 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/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

For the Colorado version of this study,SurveyUSA interviewed 876 state of Colorado registered voters Oct. 4 through Oct. 8, 2014, using Registration Based Sample (aka Voter List Sample) purchased from Aristotle in Washington, D.C. To be included in the sample, a voter needed to have voted in both 2010 and 2012, or needed to have newly registered to vote thereafter. Of the 876 registered voters, 800 were determined to be likely to vote on or before Nov. 4, 2014. This research was conducted 100 percent by telephone. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (72 percent of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28 percent of likely voters) were contacted by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the respondent’s cooperation, qualified the respondent, conducted the interview, and remained on the phone until the call was completed. Crosstabs of this study are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2014/10/PDF-Colorado-Political.pdf.

For the New Hampshire version of this study, SurveyUSA interviewed 850 state of New Hampshire registered voters Oct. 4 through Oct. 8, 2014, using Registration Based Sample (aka Voter List Sample) purchased from Aristotle in Washington, D.C. To be included in the sample, a voter needed to have voted in both 2010 and 2012, or needed to have newly registered to vote thereafter. Of the 850 registered voters, 824 were determined to be likely to vote on or before Nov. 4, 2014. This research was conducted 100 percent by telephone. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (72 percent of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28 percent of likely voters) were contacted by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the respondent’s cooperation, qualified the respondent, conducted the interview, and remained on the phone until the call was completed. Crosstabs of this study are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2014/10/PDF-New-Hampshire-Political.pdf.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SurveyResearchCenter and Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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