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Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell is clinging to a slim one point lead in the race for North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 450 registered voters in that district, 46 percent said they would vote for Kissell if the election for United States House of Representatives were today. Forty-five percent of voters said they would vote for Harold Johnson, and nine percent said they are undecided.
When looking at those who are most likely to vote in 2010, Johnson takes the lead by a 49 percent-44 percent margin.
Johnson is able to close the gap on Kissell in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a nearly 2:1 margin by leading among unaffiliated voters 57 percent to 30 percent. Both candidates are holding similar advantages among their base voters, with Johnson leading Republicans 76 percent-18 percent, and Kissell leading among Democrats 75 percent-17 percent.
“Unaffiliated voters are aligning with Johnson based almost exclusively on their opinion of President Obama,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “The 8th District is very much a referendum on his Presidency.”
Fifty seven percent of voters disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President in the district. Only thirty percent approve.
Fifty percent of voters have an opinion of Kissell (23 percent favorable-27 percent unfavorable), giving him a -4 favorability rating. Thirty-eight percent of voters said their opinion is neutral, and 11 percent said they have no opinion of Kissell and his re-election bid.
Johnson, a former sportscaster, is similarly known among voters as 50 percent said they have an opinion of him (24 percent favorable-26 percent unfavorable), giving him a -2 favorability rating. Thirty-one percent of voters said they are neutral, and 20 percent said they have no opinion on his candidacy.
The district is rated as an R+2 district by the Cook Political Report – an index that rates the relative partisan voting habits of individual legislative districts.
Further analysis of the district’s voters reveals that 62 percent said they disapprove of the job the Democratic Party is doing in control of Congress. Thirty-one percent of voters said they approve, and seven percent said they are not sure.
Additionally, 56 percent of voters said they believe the state of North Carolina is off on the wrong track in comparison to 30 percent who say it’s headed in the right direction.
For full results and crosstabs from the poll, click here.
The survey of 450 registered voters was taken October 1-3 by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Civitas Institute using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) method. It carries a margin of error of +/- 4.7%.
This SurveyUSA poll was conducted by telephone in the voice of a professional announcer. Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT. All respondents heard the questions asked identically. Where necessary, responses were weighted according to age, gender, ethnic origin, geographical area and number of adults and number of voice telephone lines in the household, so that the sample would reflect the actual demographic proportions in the population, using most recent U.S. Census estimates. In theory, with the stated sample size, one can say with 95% certainty that the results would not vary by more than the stated margin of sampling error, in one direction or the other, had the entire universe of respondents been interviewed with complete accuracy. There are other possible sources of error in all surveys that may be more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. These include refusals to be interviewed, question wording and question order, weighting by demographic control data and the manner in which respondents are filtered (such as, determining who is a likely voter). It is difficult to quantify the errors that may result from these factors. Fieldwork for this survey was done by SurveyUSA of Clifton, NJ.