HPU Poll: Health Care and Economy Are Most Important to NC Registered Voters

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 6, 2018 – The HPU Poll finds that majorities of North Carolina’s registered voters say that as they think about the 2018 elections for Congress, health care (75 percent), the economy (71 percent), social security (69 percent) and terrorism (68 percent) are very important to them.

The poll also finds that gun policy (64 percent), immigration (62 percent), Medicare (62 percent) and taxes (61 percent) are very important to registered voters in the 2018 elections.

Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of registered voters also say that they have been following the news about candidates and election campaigns very closely or fairly closely. About 1 in 5 say that they are following not too closely.

The most recent poll included registered voters who had already voted in the 2018 elections, as well as those who had not yet voted. When asked about which party controls Congress, the Republicans or the Democrats, as a factor in how they voted or will vote, 69 percent said that it was or will be a factor, while 23 percent said that it was or will not be a factor, while 8 percent did not offer an opinion.

“These newest findings confirm what we have seen in North Carolina’s early voting numbers. North Carolinians have been watching the elections closely and translating that attention into votes,” says Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “These findings also raise the question of whether the issues voters say are most important to them affected their votes and swayed elections one way or another.”

Self-Identified Registered Voters – Campaigns and Voting (October 2018)

How closely have you followed news about candidates and election campaigns in your state and district? Would you say very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely?

Very closely – 29 percent

Fairly closely – 45 percent

Not too closely – 19 percent

Not at all closely – 7 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 1 percent

(Self-identified registered voter (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2018, n = 680 and credibility interval of +/- 4.6 percent)

Self-Identified Registered Voters – Generic Ballot – U.S. Congress (October 2018)

Registered Voters: Will the issue of which party controls Congress, the Republicans or the Democrats, be a factor in your vote for Congress this year, or not?

OR

Already Voted: Was the issue of which party controls Congress, the Republicans or the Democrats, a factor in your vote for Congress this year, or not?

Yes, was a factor – 69 percent

No, was not a factor – 23 percent

Don’t know – 8 percent

(Self-identified registered voter (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2018, n = 680 and credibility interval of +/- 4.6 percent)

Self-Identified Registered Voters – Issues (October 2018)

As you think about the elections for Congress this November, how important are each of the following issues to you? Is the issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 

[Note: Each respondent was presented with a randomized selection of half of the statements]

  Very Important Somewhat Important Not too important Not at all important (Don’t know/refuse)
Health care 75 20 3 1 2
The economy 71 25 2 1 1
Social security 69 22 7 * 1
Terrorism 68 22 7 2 1
Gun policy 64 23 10 3 1
Immigration 62 27 6 3 2
Medicare 62 28 6 3 1
Taxes 61 31 7 1 1
How racial and ethnic minorities are treated 58 21 11 6 3
Supreme Court appointments 56 27 11 3 3
The federal budget deficit 52 36 9 1 2
Drug addiction 49 30 16 5 1
Abortion 48 31 12 6 3
The environment 48 34 11 6 1
Trade policy 41 37 17 2 2
How gay, lesbian and transgender people are treated 33 28 17 17 5

(Self-identified registered voter (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2018, n = 680 and credibility interval of +/- 4.6 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2018 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 680 adults interviewed online (433 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (247 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 4.6 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.8 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.2 (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/2018/11/62memoA.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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