HPU Poll: NC Voters Following News About Ebola More Closely Now Than a Month Ago

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 29, 2014 – The most recent High Point University Poll finds a majority (70 percent) of North Carolina likely and actual voters following news about the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the cases that have occurred in the U.S. either extremely or very closely, as compared to 44 percent a month ago.

There has also been a substantial increase in these voters’ concern that there will be a large outbreak of Ebola inside the United States. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they were concerned about an outbreak within the next 12 months. That is compared to 32 percent that were concerned four weeks ago.

“We see not only increases in the attention people are giving to the story, but also this 22 point increase in the proportion of people expressing concern about a large outbreak,” says Brian McDonald, assistant director of the HPU Poll. “People appear to be feeling more anxiety about this public health issue, so we will continue to monitor public perceptions of the Ebola crisis.”

 

Likely voters – News about Ebola outbreak

October 2014 – How closely are you following news about the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the cases that have occurred here in the U.S.? Are you following the news…

Extremely closely – 36 percent

Very closely – 34 percent

Somewhat closely – 25 percent

Not very closely – 4 percent

Not at all – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 801 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

September 2014 – How closely are you following news about the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa? Are you following the news…

Extremely closely – 19 percent

Very closely – 25 percent

Somewhat closely – 38 percent

Not very closely – 12 percent

Not at all – 5 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed September 13 – 18, n = 410 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)

 

 

Likely voters – Concern about Ebola in U.S.

October 2014 – Are you concerned that there will be large outbreak of Ebola inside the United States within the next 12 months, or aren’t you concerned about that?

Concerned – 54 percent

Not concerned – 40 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 5 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 801 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

September 2014 – Are you concerned that there will be large outbreak of Ebola inside the United States within the next 12 months, or aren’t you concerned about that?

Concerned – 32 percent

Not concerned – 64 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 4 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed September 13 – 18, n = 410 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)

 

For the most recent survey, the High Point University Survey Research Center contracted SurveyUSA to interview 862 state of North Carolina registered voters Oct. 21 through Oct. 25, 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 862 registered voters, 802 were determined to be likely to vote or had already voted in person or by absentee ballot in the Nov. 4, 2014 general election. Approximately 10 percent of the respondents said they had already voted. 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-North-Carolina-Political.pdf.

The High Point University Survey Research Center fielded the earlier survey with live interviewers calling between Sept. 13 and 18, 2014. The responses came from 410 likely voters with landline or cellular telephones. First, registered voters were identified using a Registration Based Sampling 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 their 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 passed the screen. 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 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 on-line include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

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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