HPU Poll: In NC, Clinton Leads Trump and Cooper Leads McCrory

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 26, 2016 – The High Point University Poll finds that North Carolina’s top three election races continue to intensify with Hillary Clinton receiving support from 43 percent of likely voters and Donald Trump receiving support from 42 percent of likely voters. The percentages were calculated to HPU Poll - Presidential Election - Sept. 2016include respondents who said they didn’t know exactly who they’d vote for, but were leaning one way or the other.

The other two top of the ballot races in North Carolina show Attorney General Roy Cooper with 50 percent support, compared to incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory’s 41 percent when taking into account leaning voters. Incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Burr has 45 percent support from likely voters, compared to 43 percent for challenger Deborah Ross when leaning voters are taken into account.

Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson, Sean Haugh and Lon Cecil receive support from 10, 4 and 3 percent in their races for president, U.S. Senate and North Carolina Governor, respectively.

The poll also finds that 48 percent of the likely voters in the survey approve of President Barack Obama’s job HPU Poll - NC Governor Election - Sept. 2016performance, while 48 percent disapprove. This can be compared to his job approval rating of 40 percent among likely voters during mid-October of 2014. McCrory received a 41 percent approval rating with 51 percent disapproval, and Burr received a 38 percent approval rating with 35 percent disapproval.

“These are all important races because they may determine which party has the most control in Washington, D.C. and who will shape policy in Raleigh,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, associate professor of political science and director of the HPU Poll. “As the general election campaign moves forward, we will look for more clues about why voters are showing these preferences.”

The poll also finds that barely more than one-fifth (21 percent) of the same respondents believe the country is headed in the right direction, versus more than two-thirds (70 percent) who see the country as being
on the wrong track.

HPU Poll - US Senate Election - Sept. 2016When voters were asked if they’d vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate within their congressional district, 46 percent of likely voters said they’d support the Democratic candidate, whereas 43 percent said they’d support the Republican candidate. This may be compared to mid-October 2014, when the Republican candidate received 48 percent of likely and actual voter support whereas the Democratic candidate received 43 percent.

“There is a good deal of voter uncertainty reflected in these current polling numbers,” says Brian McDonald, the associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct professor. “We see a relatively large fraction of people who think the country is headed in the wrong direction, but President Obama’s approval rating is up. This situation gives us mixed messages about whether voters overall will be focusing on change or continuity when they cast their ballots.”

 

Likely voters – Presidential race in North Carolina

If the election for President of the United States were held today would you be voting for Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, or Libertarian Gary Johnson?

[ASKED ONLY OF PEOPLE WHO SAID THEY DID NOT KNOW WHO THEY WOULD CHOOSE] Are you leaning toward voting for Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, or Libertarian Gary Johnson?

Donald Trump (R) – 42 percent
Hillary Clinton (D) – 43 percent
Gary Johnson (L) – 10 percent
(Don’t know) – 5 percent
(Refused) – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Likely voters – U.S. Senate race in North Carolina

If the election for United States Senate were held today would you be voting for Republican Richard Burr, Democrat Deborah Ross, or Libertarian Sean Haugh [PRONOUNCED “HAW”]?

[ASKED ONLY OF PEOPLE WHO SAID THEY DID NOT KNOW WHO THEY WOULD CHOOSE]  Are you leaning toward voting for Republican Richard Burr, Democrat Deborah Ross, or Libertarian Sean Haugh?

Richard Burr (R) – 45 percent
Deborah Ross (D) – 43 percent
Sean Haugh (L) – 4 percent
(Don’t know) – 6 percent
(Refused) – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept, 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Likely voters – Governor’s race in North Carolina

If the election for Governor of North Carolina were held today would you be voting for Republican Pat McCrory, Democrat Roy Cooper, or Libertarian Lon Cecil? [ASKED ONLY OF PEOPLE WHO SAID THEY DID NOT KNOW WHO THEY WOULD CHOOSE] Are you leaning toward voting for Republican Pat McCrory, Democrat Roy Cooper, or Libertarian Lon Cecil?

Pat McCrory (R) – 41 percent
Roy Cooper (D) – 50 percent
Lon Cecil (L) – 3 percent
(Don’t know) – 5 percent
(Refuse) – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 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 – 21 percent
Wrong track – 70 percent
(Don’t know) – 8 percent
(Refuse) – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Likely voters – Presidential job approval

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

Approve – 48 percent
Disapprove – 48 percent
(Don’t know) – 4 percent
(Refuse) – No (0) respondents

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Likely voters – Governor Approval

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

Approve – 41 percent
Disapprove – 51 percent
(Don’t know) – 8 percent
(Refuse) – Less than 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Likely voters – Senator Approval

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

Approve – 38 percent
Disapprove – 35 percent
(Don’t know) – 27 percent
(Refuse) – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

Likely voters – Congressional Generic ballot

If the elections for U.S. Congress were being held today, would you vote for the Republican Party’s candidate or the Democratic Party’s candidate for Congress in your district?  Or, will you vote for some other party’s candidate?

The Republican Party’s candidate – 43 percent
The Democratic Party’s candidate – 46 percent
(Other) – 1 percent
(Don’t know/Undecided) – 10 percent
(Refuse) – Less than 1 percent

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Sept. 17 and 22, n = 404 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

 

The High Point University Survey Research Center interviewed 404 state of North Carolina likely voters Sept. 17 through Sept. 22, 2016, using Registration Based Sample (aka Voter List Sample) purchased from Survey Sampling International through Aristotle in Washington, D.C. To be included in the sample, a voter needed to have a propensity score of more than 30 on a scale of 0 to 100 based on their voting history in presidential and midterm elections and demographics. In order to confirm voters’ likelihood of voting, they were asked an additional screening question: “On November 8, North Carolina will hold its election for President, U.S. Senate, Governor, 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 2016 general election?”  Only respondents who indicated they were “almost certain” to vote or “probably” would vote were considered to be likely voters. Of the 419 registered voters interviewed, 404 were determined to be likely to vote in the Nov. 8, 2016 general election. This research was conducted 100 percent by telephone. Respondents on both cell phones (273 interviews) and landlines (131 interviews) were contacted by live operators at the Survey Research Center, who hand-dialed the telephone and completed the interview. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2016/10/47memoC.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.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, associate 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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