HPU Poll: Majority of Guilford County Registered Voters Would Vote for School Bond

The bond is on the November ballot and would improve school facilities.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 27, 2020 – A new High Point University Poll finds that a majority (83%) of registered voters in Guilford County, North Carolina, would vote for a bond on the November 2020 election ballot to provide $300 million to Guilford County Schools to improve school facilities. Less than 5% say they would vote against such a bond, while 13% did not offer an opinion.

This poll also finds that 21% of Guilford County registered voters would vote for a measure to increase local sales tax and use tax at the rate of 0.25% in addition to the current sales tax in Guilford County. About two-thirds (63%) say they would vote against this sales tax increase, while 17% do not offer an opinion.

Less than one-third (30%) of the same Guilford County registered voters say that public education in North Carolina is headed in the right direction, while almost half (48%) say the wrong direction. About one-quarter (23%) do not offer an opinion either way.  

When asked about public education in Guilford County, 37% of registered voters say it’s headed in the right direction. Less than half (41%) say the wrong direction, while 22% do not offer an opinion either way.  

Poll respondents give the quality of North Carolina public schools an average grade of C (based on 378 responses). The specific distribution of responses was A (4%), B (20%), C (47%), D (10%) or F (8%). Only 12% of respondents offer no opinion.

Poll respondents give the quality of Guilford County public schools an average grade of C+/C (based on 359 responses). The specific distribution of responses was A (8%), B (29%), C (30%), D (12%) or F (5%). Only 16% of respondents offer no opinion.

This poll asked respondents how well-prepared Guilford County Schools are to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic during school this fall. Majorities of Guilford County registered voters (59%) say that the schools are somewhat unprepared or very unprepared. Less than one-third (30%) say somewhat well prepared or very well prepared. Only 10% offer no opinion.

Finally, poll respondents give the current conditions of Guilford County school facilities an average grade of C (based on 349 responses). The specific distribution of responses was A (4%), B (19%), C (38%), D (12%) or a F (8%). Only 18% of respondents offer no opinion.

“The registered voters we surveyed in Guilford County are inclined to vote for a bond in November to improve school facilities,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of HPU’s Survey Research Center and adjunct instructor. “And a majority of these same voters felt that Guilford County Schools were not prepared to deal with the pandemic during school this fall.”

Guilford County, NC registered voters – Guilford County Bond (July/August 2020)

On the November 2020 election ballot is a Guilford County bond to provide $300 million to Guilford County Schools to improve school facilities. Do you think you will vote for or vote against this county bond?

Vote for – 83%

Vote against – 4%

(Don’t know/refused) – 13%

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%) 

Guilford County, NC registered voters – Guilford County Sales Tax (July/August 2020)

On the November 2020 election ballot is a measure to increase local sales and use tax at the rate of 0.25% in addition to the current sales tax in Guilford County. Do you think you will vote for or vote against this sales tax increase?

Vote for – 21%

Vote against – 63%

(Don’t know/refused) – 17%

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

Guilford County, NC registered voters – Direction of NC Public Education (July/August 2020)

Overall, in which direction would you say that public education in North Carolina is headed? Would you say the right direction or wrong direction?

Right direction – 30%

Wrong direction – 48%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 23%

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

Guilford County, NC registered voters – Direction of Guilford County Public Education (July/August 2020)

Overall, in which direction would you say that public education in Guilford County is headed? Would you say the right direction or wrong direction?

Right direction – 37%

Wrong direction – 41%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 22%

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

Guilford County, NC registered voters –NC Quality of Schools (July/August 2020)

Using a grade of A, B, C, D and F — where A is excellent and F is very poor — how would you grade North Carolina on the quality of its public schools?

A – 4%

B – 20%

C – 47%

D – 10%

F – 8%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 12%

Average grade = C, based on 378 responses.

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

Guilford County, NC registered voters –Local Quality of Schools (July/August 2020)

Again using a grade of A, B, C, D and F — where A is excellent and F is very poor — how would you grade the quality of your local public schools?

A – 8%

B – 29%

C – 30%

D – 12%

F – 5%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 16%

Average grade = C+/C, based on 359 responses.

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

Guilford County, NC registered voters –GCS COVID-19 Preparedness (July/August 2020)

How well-prepared do you think Guilford County Schools are to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic during school this fall? Would you say very well prepared, somewhat prepared, somewhat unprepared, or very unprepared.

Very well prepared – 3%

Somewhat well prepared – 27%

Somewhat unprepared – 29%

Very unprepared – 30%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 10%

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

Guilford County, NC registered voters –GCS School Facilities (July/August 2020)

Again using a grade of A, B, C, D and F — where A is excellent and F is very poor — how would you grade the current conditions of Guilford County school facilities?

A – 4%

B – 19%

C – 38%

D – 12%

F – 8%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 18%

Average grade = C, based on 349 responses.

(Guilford County registered voter sample from NC voter file, surveyed July 29 – Aug. 21, 2020, n = 428 and margin of sampling error is +/- 5.6%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers working remotely through the High Point University Survey Research Center, calling July 29 – August 21, 2020. The responses from a random sample of 428 registered voters in Guilford County 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) by selecting a random sample from just those registered voters who resided in Guilford County. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.7 percentage points for registered voter respondents. Taking into account an estimated design effect as a result of weighting, the adjusted margin of error is 5.6 percentage points. The data is weighted toward population (Guilford County registered voters) estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and partisan identification based on the parameters of the Guilford County residents in the voter file at the North Carolina State Board of Elections as well as education level based on US Census estimates (American Community Survey) for Guilford County. 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/2020/08/73memoA.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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