HPU Poll: Presidential Approval at 42 Percent, Congress Approval at 23 Percent

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 20, 2018 – A recent High Point University Poll finds that North Carolinians give President Donald Trump a job approval rating of 42 percent and are split on who they would vote for in U.S. Congressional and North Carolina General Assembly races if they were held today.

Twenty-three percent of North Carolinians approve of how U.S. Congress is doing its job, while 60 percent disapprove and 17 percent offer no view either way. The North Carolina General Assembly had a job approval rating of 36 percent, with 34 percent disapproving. Thirty percent did not offer a view either way.

When asked about their choices for U.S. Congress, 39 percent of North Carolinians say they would vote for the Democratic Party’s candidate if the election were held today, 36 percent say they would vote for the Republican Party’s candidate and 3 percent say they would vote for a Libertarian Party candidate if one were on the ballot. Five percent indicated they would prefer to vote for someone else, and a relatively substantial 18 percent say they did not know or were unsure for whom they would vote.

There were similar responses to “generic ballot” questions about the elections for houses of the North Carolina General Assembly. Thirty-nine percent of these North Carolinians say they prefer the Democratic Party’s candidate in their local race for North Carolina House of Representatives, while 37 percent say they would vote Republican. Two percent say they would vote Libertarian if the election was today, with 22 percent preferring to vote for another candidate or not offering an opinion.

Finally, 39 percent of the same respondents say they would vote Democratic in their local race for North Carolina Senate, compared to 37 percent who say they would vote Republican. Three percent say they would vote Libertarian, and 21 percent say they would either vote for another candidate, remain undecided or did not offer an opinion.

“The most recent HPU Poll continues to show consistency in how North Carolinians feel about the job the president is doing,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor of survey research methods. “The relative stability between our current poll and our March poll does not indicate any significant shift in how the state is feeling.”

All adults – Presidential, U.S. Congress and N.C. General Assembly Job Approval (September 2018)Presidential

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

Approve – 42 percent

Disapprove – 50 percent

Don’t know/Refuse – 8 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?

Approve – 23 percent

 

Disapprove – 60 percent

Don’t know/Refuse – 17 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

Congress

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the North Carolina General Assembly is doing its job?

Approve – 36 percent

Disapprove – 34 percent

Don’t know/Refuse – 30 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

All adults – Generic Ballot – U.S. Congress (September 2018)

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? [PARTY ORDER RANDOMIZED]

Republican Candidate – 36 percent

Democratic Candidate – 39 percent

Libertarian Candidate – 3 percent

Other – 5 percent

Don’t know/Undecided/Refuse – 18 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

All adults – Generic Ballot – North Carolina House (September 2018)

Preferred political

If the elections for North Carolina’s House of Representatives were being held TODAY, would you vote for the (Republican Party’s candidate) OR the (Democratic Party’s candidate) for Congress in your district? [PARTY ORDER RANDOMIZED]

Republican Candidate – 37 percent

Democratic Candidate – 39 percent

Libertarian Candidate – 2 percent

Other – 5 percent

Don’t know/Undecided/Refuse – 17 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

All adults – Generic Ballot – North Carolina Senate (September 2018)

If the elections for North Carolina Senate were being held TODAY, would you vote for the (Republican Party’s candidate) OR the (Democratic Party’s candidate) for Congress in your district? [PARTY ORDER RANDOMIZED]

Republican Candidate – 37 percent

Democratic Candidate – 39 percent

Libertarian Candidate – 3 percent

Other – 4 percent

Don’t know/Undecided/Refuse – 17 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 7-13, 2018 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 827 adults interviewed online (606 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (221 respondents). The registered voter subsample relied on responses from the participants about their own registration status and yielded a total of 734 respondents. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.6 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. 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/2018/09/60memoA.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, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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