Voters Know Congress, Unsure at State Level
Raleigh, N.C. – Results from the Civitas Institute’s latest poll released today indicates a majority of North Carolinians are certain they know which party controls Congress and the Governor’s office, but only half of the respondents said they are aware of who controls the General Assembly.
According to the live caller poll of 600 North Carolina voters, 77 percent of respondents correctly identified the Democratic Party as currently controlling Congress. This marks a significant improvement since Civitas last asked an identical question in July 2008, when only 51 percent of voters correctly identified the Democrats as in charge of Congress.
“With the election of a Democratic President, voters’ are more aware as to who is actually running Washington,” said Civitas Institute Executive Director Francis De Luca. “President Bush’s term in office somehow clouded the picture as to who was in control of Congress. Voters knew Bush was a Republican, so they transferred that knowledge to think Republicans controlled Congress as well.”
Voters’ knowledge of which party controls the N.C. Governor’s office also improved. In July 2008, 61 percent of voters correctly identified the Democrats as controlling the N.C. Governor’s office. This month, 69 percent of voters again correctly identified the Democrats.
“Perhaps now after five consecutive gubernatorial elections won by Democrats, voters are finally coming to know who is in charge in North Carolina,” added De Luca. “However it is disconcerting when three out of 10 voters cannot say that Democrats are in charge.”
While showing slight improvement since July, voters still are largely unsure as to which party controls the N.C. House and N.C. Senate. Only half of voters (50 percent) correctly said the Democrats were in charge of the N.C. House and Senate. In July 2008, only 49 percent of voters said they thought Democrats controlled the N.C. House and just 40 percent correctly identified the Senate leadership.
“With the electoral sweep Democrats enjoyed last November, an improvement in voters’ knowledge of the party in power should be expected. However, with only half of voters correctly knowing who is in charge of the N.C. General Assembly, that knowledge of federal government control has not trickled down to the state legislative level,” said De Luca.
Full text of questions:
“Which political party, Democratic or Republican, controls Congress?”
Not Sure- 14%
“Which political party, Democratic or Republican, controls the North Carolina Governor’s Office?”
Not Sure- 18%
“Which political party, Democratic or Republican, controls the North Carolina Senate?”
Not Sure- 37%
“Which political party, Democratic or Republican, controls the North Carolina House?”
Not Sure- 39%
Questions from July 2008-
“Which party, the Republican or Democratic, controls the North Carolina House?”
Not Sure- 35%
“The North Carolina Senate?”
Not Sure- 44%
“The Governor’s Office?”
Not Sure- 25%
Click here for July 2008 poll
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues and policies facing North Carolina.
The study of 600 registered voters was conducted March 16-19, 2009. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
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 either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
If you would like more information regarding this topic or to schedule an interview with Francis De Luca, please contact Gabe Dellinger at 919.747.8065 or Gabe.Dellinger@nccivitas.org.