HPU Poll: Among Democratic Candidates, Biden, Sanders, Warren Have Largest Support in North Carolina

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 14, 2019 – The most recent High Point University Poll finds 33% of self-identified Democrats in North Carolina would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden if they were voting in the Democratic presidential primary right now. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders would have the support of 18% of those surveyed if the primary were today, and U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren would have the support of 13% of poll respondents.

The HPU Poll tested a series of other relatively competitive candidates that had qualified for the October Democratic primary debate. All of those candidates showed single digit primary support of poll respondents. Beto O’Rourke dropped out of the presidential race on Nov. 1.

The HPU Poll also finds that interest in the Democratic primary field hasn’t changed since the September HPU Poll, when 41% of self-identified Democrats in North Carolina said they have given a lot of thought to candidates who may be running for president in 2020. Just over half (63%) of self-identified Democrats surveyed said they have watched at least some of the Democratic presidential campaign debates.

“We are still early in the presidential campaign, and there are not many signs of movement among the Democratic primary frontrunners here in North Carolina,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and chair of HPU’s political science department. “We should expect increased engagement from North Carolinians in the elections, as well as some changes in relative support for candidates as the March 2020 primary approaches.”

NOTE: This release includes results for self-identified Democrats only, but the memo associated with the release includes overall results, as well as crosstabs by respondents’ self-identified political identification (Democrat, Republican, Independent/Unaffiliated).

Self-Identified Democrat Adults – Thought Given to Candidates (November 2019)

chartHow much thought, if any, have you given to candidates who may be running for president in 2020? A lot, some, not much, or none at all?         

A lot – 41%

Some – 39%

Not much – 13%

None at all – 5%

(Don’t know) – 2%

(Self-Identified North Carolina Democrats phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1-7, 2019, n = 347 and credibility interval of +/- 6.4%)

Self-Identified Democrat Adults – Choice in Democratic Primary (November 2019)

I know it’s a long way off, but if the Democratic Primary for President of the United States were today, and you were filling out a Democratic primary ballot now, who would you vote for?

Self-Identified NC Democrats (n=347)

Name Support
Joe Biden 33%
Bernie Sanders 18%
Elizabeth Warren 13%
Kamala Harris 5%
Pete Buttigieg 4%
Amy Klobuchar 3%
Cory Booker 2%
Andrew Yang 2%
Tom Steyer 2%
Tulsi Gabbard 1%
(Undecided) 10%
(Don’t know/refuse) 6%

(Self-Identified North Carolina Democrats phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1-7, 2019, n = 347 and credibility interval of +/- 6.4%)

Self-Identified Democrat Adults – Watch Democratic Debates (November 2019)

Have you watched any of the Democratic presidential campaign debates?

Yes – 63%

No – 36%

Don’t know/refuse – 1%

(Self-Identified North Carolina Democrats phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1-7, n = 347 and credibility interval of +/- 6.4%)

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). In order to identify Democrats, an item from the survey asked respondents to indicate whether they considered themselves Democrats, Republicans, or something else. There were 347 respondents who indicated they considered themselves Democrats.  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 for the full sample 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/2019/11/68memoC.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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