HPU Poll: N.C. Likely Primary Voters Differ along Party Lines on Personal Finances

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 11, 2016 – The High Point University Poll finds that most Democratic and Republican likely primary voters’ have somewhat different perceptions of their personal finances and the business condition of the country.

Fifty-three percent of Democratic likely voters said they are better off financially than they were a year ago, compared to only 35 percent of Republican likely voters. In fact, twice (36 percent) as many Republican likely voters as Democratic likely voters (18 percent) think that they are financially worse off than they were a year ago.

As we head into this election cycle, Democratic likely voters are more optimistic about business conditions in the next 12 months. Twice as many (44 percent) said that the country as a whole will have good times financially, as opposed to only 22 percent of Republican primary voters.

“Despite these differences among likely voters, the HPU Poll showed a degree of bipartisan agreement,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct professor. “Looking ahead a year from now, majorities of North Carolina respondents from both parties feel that financially, they will be just about the same as now. Fifty-two percent of likely Democratic voters said so, while 56 percent of likely Republican voters agreed.”

HPU Poll - Current finances - Rep vs Dem

Likely Primary Voters – Current Finances (February 2016)

We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

Likely Democratic Primary Voters

Better Off – 53 percent

Worse Off – 18 percent

Same/Neither – 27 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 3 percent

(Likely Democratic primary voters (North Carolina) sample surveyed January 30 – February 4, n = 477 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

Likely Republican Primary Voters

Better Off – 35 percent

Worse Off – 36 percent

Same/Neither – 29 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 1 percent

(Likely Republican primary voters (North Carolina) sample surveyed January 30 – February 4, n = 477 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

HPU Poll - Future finances - Rep vs Dem

Likely Primary Voters – Future Finances (February 2016)

Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now.

Likely Democratic Primary Voters

Better Off – 37 percent

Worse Off – 5 percent

About the same – 52 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 6 percent

(Likely Democratic primary voters (North Carolina) sample surveyed January 30 – February 4, n = 477 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

Likely Republican Primary Voters

Better Off – 26 percent

Worse Off – 13 percent

About the same – 56 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 5 percent

(Likely Republican primary voters (North Carolina) sample surveyed January 30 – February 4, n = 477 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

Likely Primary Voters – Business Conditions (February 2016)

Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next twelve months we’ll have good times financially, or bad times, or what?

Likely Democratic Primary Voters

Good Times – 44 percent

Bad Times – 21 percent

Neither – 19 percent

Good times with qualifications – 5 percent

Bad times with qualifications – 2 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 9 percent

(Likely Democratic primary voters (North Carolina) sample surveyed January 30 – February 4, n = 477 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

Likely Republican Primary Voters

Good Times – 22 percent

Bad Times – 45 percent

Neither – 18 percent

Good times with qualifications – 6 percent

Bad times with qualifications – 4 percent

Don’t know/Refused – 5 percent

(Likely Republican primary voters (North Carolina) sample surveyed January 30 – February 4, n = 477 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center (SRC) calling on Jan. 30 – Feb. 4, 2016. SRC Interviewers completed interviews with 478 likely Democratic primary voters and 477 likely Republican primary voters on cell phones and landlines. The SRC identified respondents using a Registration Based Sample (RBS) where all respondents passed a screen gauging likelihood of voting in March 2016 were selected from a database of registered voters such that respondents who had registered prior to 2008 had voted in the 2008 and 2012 presidential primaries as well as the 2014 general election; respondents registered between 2008 and 2012 had voted in the 2012 presidential primary and 2014 general election; respondents who had registered between 2012 and 2014 voted in the 2014 primary or the 2014 general election; and the remainder of the sample had registered between 2014 and 2016. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. Each sample of likely voters has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.5 percentage points. The data is 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. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2016/02/43memoC.pdf.

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.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see

http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://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 associate director of the HPU Poll.

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