HPU/N&R Poll: NC Likely Voters Say They’re Very Interested in the Election

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 12, 2016 – On a scale from zero to 10, 64 percent of North Carolina likely voters ranked themselves at the top of the scale as very interested in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new High Point University/News & Record Poll. They also answered questions about how they’ve been receiving and seeking information out about the campaigns.

When asked how they get news and information about campaigns on a regular basis, 55 percent said they watched television news daily; 47 percent said they read about public affairs and politics on the internet daily; and 40 percent said they read about politics and political affairs in a newspaper daily.

When asked whether they had been contacted or received information about the Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or both campaigns from multiple sources, 86 percent likely voters said they had received information about both major presidential campaigns from television advertisements, along with the internet (54 percent) and radio (51 percent). For local and state campaigns, 83 percent said they had received information from television advertisements, with radio (58 percent) and the internet (50 percent) following.

A large majority of likely voters – 68 percent – said they had received direct mail about state and local candidates. Only about 25 percent of these same likely voters said they had received direct mail from both presidential candidates, with 17 percent saying they received direct mail from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and 11 percent saying they received direct mail from Donald Trump’s campaign.

Some other means of communication are apparently not reaching many voters. More than 80 percent of likely voters said neither the Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton campaigns had communicated to them through text messages (85 percent), door-to-door visits from campaign staff (89 percent), or friends or family members who were working on campaigns (86 percent). These voters also had not received these types of campaign contacts from state and local candidates. More than 80 percent of voters said they had not been contacted by state or local candidates by friends or family working on a campaign (89 percent), text message (96 percent), or campaign staff going door to door (91 percent).

“There is no doubt that voters are interested in the election, and the campaigns are working hard to communicate to them,” says Brian McDonald, the associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct professor. “One of the big questions of this election cycle is whether the traditional sources of advertisements—that these voters cite as the most likely place for them to receive campaign information—have much power to shape the outcome of campaign.”

 

Likely voters – Information about the campaigns through media

Listed below are some ways that people get news and information about campaigns. In a typical week, on how many days do you do each of the following?

Likely Voters (n= 479)

 0 days per week (never)1234567 days
per week (every day)
Read about politics and political affairs in a newspaper (print version or on-line)2677767140
Read magazines like Newsweek, Time, or U.S. News & World Report    6515642305
Watch the news on television1444767355
Read about public affairs and politics on the internet16641088347
Discuss public affairs and politics with others91113131013328
Read about public affairs on Facebook3966445334
Read about public affairs on Twitter8032212*9
Watch political content on YouTube6413863304
Listen to news about public affairs on the radio337107610325

 

Likely voters – Contacts and information from presidential campaigns

Now I am going to read a list of ways the political parties or candidates might provide information to you during this election. As I read each item, let me know if you have received information this way from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Donald Trump’s campaign, both of those campaigns or neither of those campaigns during the 2016 elections.

Likely Voters (n= 479)

 Hillary ClintonDonald TrumpContact from BOTH campaignsContact from Neither campaign(Don’t know/ Refuse)
Mail directly to your household171125452
Calls on your cell phone1058733
Text messages752851
Calls on your landline phone777726
Email181315532
Campaign staff going door to door523892
Campaign staff at a public event947772
Friends or family who are working for a campaign733861
Advertisements on the internet9754282
Advertisements on the radio12251314
Advertisements on TV618661

 

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Oct. 1 and 6, n = 479 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Likely voters – Contacts and information from state and local candidates

Now we would like to ask you about how you have gotten information from state and local campaigns and candidates. As I read each item, let me know if you have received information from a state or local candidate in this way.

 YesNo(Don’t know/ Refuse)
Mail directly to your household68312
Calls on your cell phone14861
Text messages4961
Calls on your landline phone17803
Email26731
Campaign staff going door to door8911
Campaign staff at a public event20791
Friends or family who are working for a campaign1189*
Advertisements on the internet50491
Advertisements on the radio58412
Advertisements on TV8316*

 

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Oct. 1 and 6, n = 479 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Likely voters – Attention to political advertisements

Using a zero (0) to ten (10) scale where 0 is No Attention at All and 10 is Very Close Attention, How much attention would you say you have been giving to the political advertisements about the presidential race?

0 – 10 percent
1 – 3 percent
2 – 6 percent
3 – 6 percent
4 – 6 percent
5 – 12 percent
6 – 5 percent
7 – 9 percent
8 – 9 percent
9 – 10 percent
10 – 24 percent

Mean = 6.15 out of 10

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Oct. 1 and 6, n = 479 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Likely voters – Interest level in presidential election

Now, using a zero (0) to ten (10) scale where 0 is Not Interested at All and 10 is Very Interested

How interested would you say you are in this year’s presidential race?

0 – 1 percent
1 – 1 percent
2 – 1 percent
3 – 1 percent
4 – 1 percent
5 – 6 percent
6 – 2 percent
7 – 4 percent
8 – 10 percent
9 – 9 percent
10 – 64 percent

Mean: 8.85 out of 10

(North Carolina likely voter sample surveyed between Oct. 1 and 6, n = 479 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

The High Point University Survey Research Center interviewed 479 state of North Carolina likely voters Oct. 1 through Oct. 6, 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. Only the 479 respondents interviewed 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 (348 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 www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2016/10/48memoB.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at 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 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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