HPU Poll: Obama at 40 Percent Approval in NC, Hagan at 35 Percent

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 13, 2014 – A new HPU poll finds that 40 percent of North Carolina likely voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance. The poll, the second of the semester, places Sen. Kay Hagan’s job performance at 35 percent approval, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis at 32 percent, and the U.S. Congress at 12 percent.

A majority (55 percent) of the likely voters interviewed for the survey disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. Hagan received a 54 percent disapproval rating, while Tillis received 46 percent disapproval. Eighty-one percent of likely voters disapprove of the performance of the U.S. Congress.

The poll also finds nearly one out of every five (19 percent) of the same respondents believe the country is headed in the right direction versus three-quarters (75 percent) of North Carolina’s likely voters who see the country as being on the wrong track.

“Our overall approach to polling these races in Colorado, North Carolina and New Hampshire was to make sure we track the important political metrics of the races,” says Brian McDonald, assistant director of the HPU Poll. “All three of our polls include attention to direction of the country, presidential job approval, incumbent approval, favorability ratings for the parties, and which party voters favored in the congressional races. Together they paint a relatively clear picture of the political climate in these states and show why these incumbents are having trouble breaking away in the final weeks of the campaign.”

 

Likely voters Presidential job approval

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

Approve – 40 percent

Disapprove – 55 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 5 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed Oct. 4-8, n = 584 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)

 

Likely voters – Senator Hagan job approval

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

Approve – 35 percent

Disapprove – 54 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 12 percent  

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed Oct. 4-8, n = 584 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)

 

Likely voters – Speaker Tillis job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Thom Tillis is handling his job as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives?

Approve – 32 percent

Disapprove – 46 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 22 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed Oct. 4-8, n = 584 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 percent)

 

Likely voters – 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 – 19 percent

Wrong track – 75 percent

Don’t know/refused – 6 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed Oct. 4-8, n = 584 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 5 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 (277 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.

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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