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Raleigh, N.C. – A huge majority of North Carolina voters are unfamiliar with the state’s top legislative leaders, according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
Respondents were asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of several people active in politics. Six percent of voters favorably view state Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), seven percent have an unfavorable opinion, 20 percent said they have heard of him but have no opinion, and 67 percent said they have never heard of him.
Similarly, most North Carolina voters (73 percent) have never heard of House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) or have heard of him but have no opinion (15 percent). Opinion is split by a six percent favorable – seven percent unfavorable margin.
Rep. Joe Hackney (D-Orange), currently serving his sixteenth House term, is viewed favorably by eight percent of voters and unfavorably by five percent. Eighteen percent said they have heard of him but have no opinion, while 69 percent said they have never heard of him.
“Not to burst any bubbles, but outside of newsrooms and editorial offices few voters in North Carolina know who their legislative leaders are,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “Despite the strident voices of interest groups criticizing the new leaders, the average voter is unaware of these people and there is no statistical difference between a 30+ year veteran like Joe Hackney and a 4+ year newcomer like Thom Tillis.”
The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.
Full Text of Questions:
“Now I am going to read you a list of people active in politics. After I read each name, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person. If you have never heard of that person, just tell me and we’ll go onto the next one.”
Phil Berger – Favorable (6%), Unfavorable (7%), Heard Of/No Opinion (20%), Never Heard Of (67%)
Thom Tillis - Favorable (6%), Unfavorable (7%), Heard Of/No Opinion (15%), Never Heard Of (73%)
Joe Hackney – Favorable (8%), Unfavorable (5%), Heard Of/No Opinion (18%), Never Heard Of (69%)
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 registered general election voters in North Carolina was conducted July 12-13, 2011 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past three general elections (2006, 2008, 2010) or be newly registered to vote since November 2, 2010.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in at least one of the past three general elections or is newly registered since November 2, 2010. Numbers may not equal 100 due to rounding.