HPU/N&R Poll: Majorities Believe Country is Divided, More Negative Campaigning in 2020

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 13, 2019 – A new High Point University and News and Record Poll finds 65% of North Carolinians think the presidential election in 2020 will have more mud-slinging or negative campaigning than recent presidential elections. Only 6% believe there will be less mud-slinging and negative campaigning, and 18% said it will be the same as recent presidential elections.

The poll also finds 62% of North Carolina residents think the American people as a whole are more divided. About 23% said it’s not much different than usual, and only 8% think the American people are more united.

When asked if residents think Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., will spend more time next year working against each other or working together to get things done, 69% said working against each other. Meanwhile, 47% said relations between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., will get worse in the coming year. 

When it comes to campaign advertising for 2020 so far, 33% said advertising is more negative than in past elections, and 46% said ads are about the same. Only 6% think 2020 campaign advertising is less negative than in past elections, and 16% did not offer an opinion.

“According to this November poll, a majority of North Carolinians believe Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., will be spending more time working against each other,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “Majorities of poll respondents also believe the American people as a whole are more divided today.”

All adults – Mud-slinging (November 2019)

Do you think that the presidential election in 2020 will have MORE mud-slinging or negative campaigning than recent presidential elections or will there be LESS mud-slinging and negative campaigning?

More – 65%

Less – 6%

Same – 18%

Don’t know – 12%

(All adult North Carolina residents phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

All adults – Relations in Washington, D.C. (November 2019)

Do you think relations between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., will get better in the coming year, get worse, or stay the same as they are now?                         

Get better – 11%

Get worse – 47%

Stay about the same – 31%

Don’t know/refuse – 11%

(All adult North Carolina residents phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

All adults – Working in Washington, D.C. (November 2019)

Do you think Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., will spend more time next year working against each other or working together to get things done?                                        

Working against each other – 69%

Working together – 16%

Don’t know – 16%

(All adult North Carolina residents phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

All adults – America as a Whole (November 2019)

chart

Now, thinking about the American people as a whole, do you think that people in the U.S. are more united, more divided, or not much different than usual?                                         

More united – 8%

More divided – 62%

Not much different than usual – 23%

Don’t know – 8%

(All adult North Carolina residents phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

All adults – 2020 Campaign Advertising (November 2019)

Based on what you’ve seen, do you think the advertising for the 2020 campaigns has been more negative than in past elections, less negative, or about the same?                                                  

More negative – 33%

About the same – 46%

Less negative – 6%

Don’t know – 16%

(All adult North Carolina residents phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Nov. 1 – 7, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 1049 adults interviewed online (801 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (248 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ 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 3.6 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.2 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, 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/2019/11/68memoB.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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