HPU Poll: Majority of N.C. Registered Voters Say Census Is Worth the Money

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The HPU Poll also asked how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect people in responding to the Census.


HIGH POINT, N.C., July 28, 2020 – A new High Point University Poll finds that almost two-thirds (64%) of registered voters in North Carolina think that the Census is worth the money the government is spending on it, while only 25% think it’s a waste of money and 12% offer no opinion.

Approximately half of registered voters polled say they have seen television ads (52%) about the Census in recent weeks. And just about two out of every five registered voters say they have seen internet ads (41%) in recent weeks by the Census encouraging citizens to respond.

The HPU Poll asked N.C. registered voters if the coronavirus outbreak will make it more or less likely for people in their community to respond to the Census. Responses were split almost evenly with 29% saying the coronavirus will make it more likely that people will respond, 30% said no difference, and 28% said the coronavirus will make it less likely that people in their community will respond to the Census. Only 13% offered no opinion at all.

“In 2020, the Census Bureau continues to count every person living in the United States, during a pandemic,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “According to the HPU Poll respondents, majorities say the Census is worth the money the government is spending on it.”

N.C. registered voters – Census 2020 Worth the Money (June/July 2020)

Do you think the Census is worth the money the government is spending on it, or do you think it’s a waste of money?

The Census is worth the money – 64%

The Census is a waste of money – 25%

Don’t know/refused – 12%

(Registered voter sample from N.C. voter file, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2%)

N.C. registered voters – Census 2020 Advertisements (June/July 2020)

Have you happened to see any television ads in recent weeks by the Census encouraging citizens to respond to the Census, or have you not seen these ads?

Yes, I have seen ads – 52%

No, I have not seen ads – 47%

Don’t know/refused – 1%

(Registered voter sample from N.C. voter file, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2%)

N.C. registered voters – Census 2020 Internet Advertisements (June/July 2020)

Have you happened to see any online internet ads in recent weeks by the Census encouraging citizens to respond to the Census, or have you not seen these ads?

Yes, I have seen internet ads – 41%

No, I have not seen internet ads – 57%

Don’t know/refused – 2%

(Registered voter sample from N.C. voter file, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2%)

N.C. registered voters – Census 2020 and the Coronavirus (June/July 2020)

Do you think the coronavirus outbreak will make it more or less likely people in your community will respond to the Census?

More likely – 29%

No difference – 30%

Less likely – 28%

Don’t know/refused – 13%

(Registered voter sample from N.C. voter file, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers working remotely through the High Point University Survey Research Center, calling June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 422 registered voters interviewed on landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center drew this sample from the voter file made public by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (https://www.ncsbe.gov/Public-Records-Data-Info/Election-Results-Data). The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.8 percentage points for registered voter respondents. Taking into account a design effect as a result of weighting, the adjusted margin of error is 6.2 percentage points. The data is weighted toward population (N.C. registered voters) estimates for age, gender, and race/ethnicity based on the parameters of the full voter file at the North Carolina State Board of Elections as well as education level based on US Census estimates. 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/2020/07/72memoA.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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