HPU Poll: North Carolinians Cite School Safety as Top Issue Concern

Oct 06th, 2022

HPU Poll: North Carolinians Cite School Safety as Top Issue Concern

Residents said Republicans have an advantage on gas prices and the economy, while Democrats are favored on civil rights and the environment.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 6, 2022 – According to the most recent High Point University Poll, North Carolinians say they are most concerned about school safety but are divided on generic ballots that ask party preference in the 2022 elections.

When asked how they would vote if the elections for U.S. Congress were held today, North Carolinians are divided, with 38% choosing the Republican candidate and 41% choosing the Democratic candidate. Another 18% remain undecided or unsure of their choice.

Two out of five (40%) of these same North Carolina residents said they would vote for a Democratic candidate for the N.C. House while 39% said they would vote for a Republican candidate.

When asked about the N.C. Senate, 40% of North Carolinians said they would choose the Democratic candidate and 39% said they would choose the Republican candidate.

A similar percentage (41%) said they would vote for the Democratic candidate if North Carolina Supreme Court elections were held today, and 38% said they would choose the Republican candidate.

HPU Poll NC Senate Elections

The poll also asked North Carolinians to rate the importance of a series of issues for the state right now. Seventy percent or more of the respondents said school safety (74%), education (73%), inflation (73%), jobs (71%), health care (71%) and crime (70%) were very important issues in North Carolina today. Majorities also said that taxes (64%), voting rights (62%), voting integrity (61%), corruption (61%), abortion (58%), race relations (53%) and infrastructure (52%) were very important issues in North Carolina. Less than majorities said climate change (46%), COVID-19 (46%) and public transportation (43%) were very important issues in North Carolina.

The HPU Poll also asked North Carolinians whether they thought the Democratic or Republican party in Washington, D.C. would do a better job handling a series of issues. Of the issues tested, Republicans had an advantage on issues such as inflation (13% more), gas prices (10% more), law enforcement (9% more) and the economy in general. Democrats had an advantage on issues such as climate change  (12% more), civil rights (12% more), the environment in general (11% more) and health care in general (9% more).

Changing focus, the HPU Poll asked about whether respondents thought the Republican or Democratic party in North Carolina would do a better job of handling a series of issues. Of the issues tested, Republicans had an advantage on issues such as gas prices (11% more), the economy in general (7% more), and inflation (9% more). Democrats had an advantage on issues such as civil rights (13% more), climate change (10% more), the environment in general (10% more) and health care in general (9% more).

 

NC residents – Issue Ownership by Parties in Washington (September 2022)

For each issue, please tell me whether you think the [Democratic or Republican Party] would do a better job dealing with this issue. [PARTIES AND ISSUES PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]

Democrat Republican Advantage D or R Both equally Neither Unsure
Inflation 25 38 13 R 13 14 11
Gas prices 26 36 10 R 14 13 10
Law enforcement 27 36 9 R 15 11 11
The economy in general 28 37 9 R 14 11 10
Energy prices 27 35 8 R 14 13 11
Foreign policy in general 28 34 6 R 15 11 13
Taxes 29 35 6 R 12 13 11
The war in Ukraine 26 30 4 R 17 13 13
School safety 30 29 1 D 19 11 10
Transportation 30 28 2 D 19 9 15
Education 32 30 2 D 17 11 11
Voting integrity 34 31 3 D 15 9 11
Voting rights 34 29 5 D 16 10 11
COVID-19 32 26 6 D 19 13 10
Abortion 36 29 7 D 11 12 12
Health care in general 36 27 9 D 14 12 10
The environment in general 36 25 11 D 17 11 12
Civil Rights 37 25 12 D 18 10 11
Climate change 36 24 12 D 15 14 12

 (Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Issue Ownership by Parties in Raleigh (September 2022)

For each issue, please tell me whether you think the [Democratic Party or Republican Party] here in North Carolina would do a better job dealing with this issue. [PARTIES AND ISSUES PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]

Democrat Republican Advantage D or R Both equally Neither Unsure
Gas prices 26 37 11 R 12 14 11
The economy in general 28 35 9 R 15 11 11
Inflation 26 35 9 R 14 13 12
Taxes 29 36 7 R 13 12 11
Jobs 29 35 6 R 17 8 11
Law enforcement 29 35 6 R 15 8 13
Energy prices 28 33 5 R 14 13 12
School safety 30 30 0 18 10 11
Highway maintenance and construction 28 27 1D 21 11 13
Transportation in general 28 26 2 D 21 11 15
Voting integrity 33 31 2 D 15 10 12
Education 31 29 2 D 18 10 12
COVID-19 32 27 5 D 20 10 12
Voting rights 34 29 5 D 16 9 12
Abortion 36 30 6 D 12 12 12
Health care in general 35 26 9 D 17 11 11
The environment in general 35 25 10 D 17 11 12
Climate change 34 24 10 D 17 12 13
Civil Rights 37 24 13 D 17 9 12

 (Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Most Important Issues in NC (September 2022)

How important do you think each of these issues is in North Carolina today? Would you say very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important? [ITEMS PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]

Very important Somewhat important Not very important Not at all important Unsure
School safety 74 17 3 2 5
Education 73 18 3 2 5
Inflation 73 16 4 2 5
Jobs 71 20 3 1 5
Health care 71 18 4 2 5
Crime 70 20 3 2 5
Taxes 64 24 4 2 6
Voting rights 62 21 7 3 7
Voting integrity 61 23 8 2 7
Corruption 61 24 6 2 6
Abortion 58 22 9 4 8
Race relations 53 25 12 5 6
Infrastructure 52 32 5 2 9
Climate change 46 23 12 11 7
COVID-19 46 28 12 8 5
Public transportation 43 34 14 4 6

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

HPU Poll Congressional Elections

NC residents – Generic Ballot for Congressional Elections (September 2022)

If the elections for U.S. Congress were being held today, would you vote for the [“Republican Party’s candidate” or the “Democratic Party’s candidate”] for Congress in your district?

Republican candidate – 38%

Democratic candidate – 41%

Other – 3%

Don’t know/Undecided – 18%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Generic Ballot for NC Senate Elections (September 2022)

If the elections for the General Assembly in Raleigh were being held today, would you vote for the [“Republican Party’s candidate” or the “Democratic Party’s candidate”] for North Carolina Senate in your district?

Republican candidate – 39%

Democratic candidate – 40%

Other – 3%

Unsure/Undecided – 18%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Generic Ballot for NC House (September 2022)

If the elections for the General Assembly in Raleigh were being held today, would you vote for the [“Republican Party’s candidate” or the “Democratic Party’s candidate”] for North Carolina House in your district?

Republican candidate – 39%

Democratic candidate – 40%

Other – 2%

Unsure/Undecided –  19%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Generic Ballot for North Carolina Supreme Court (September 2022)

If the elections for North Carolina’s Supreme Court were being held today, would you vote for the [“Republican Party’s candidate” or the “Democratic Party’s candidate”] for N.C. Supreme Court?

Republican candidate – 38%

Democratic candidate – 41%

Other – 2%

Unsure/Undecided – 19%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by the High Point University Survey Research Center on Sept. 14 through Sept. 20, 2022, as an online survey using a panel of respondents recruited and maintained by Dynata. Dynata sent invitations to its panel of NC respondents and the SRC collected responses on its Qualtrics platform. The SRC did all data analysis. The online sample is from a panel of respondents, and their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classic margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.0 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.08 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity and education 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 errors into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website. 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. See more information here.

You can follow the HPU Poll Twitter here.

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.