Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic incumbent Bill Purcell is ahead in the state Senate District 25 race against Republican opponent Jason Phibbs according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, which is made up of Anson, Richmond, Scotland, and Stanly counties, 48 percent of voters said that if the election for state Senate were held today they would vote for Purcell. Forty percent said they would vote for Phibbs and 12 percent said they are undecided.
This gap narrows, however, to a two-point margin of 46 percent Democratic-44 percent Republican when voters are asked which candidate for state legislature they will vote for this fall. Further analysis reveals that Independent voters are trending Republican, as 57 percent said they will vote for the Republican candidate.
“This district slightly leans Democratic, but was carried by John McCain in the Presidential race in 2008 and could become competitive as voters are leaning Republican across much of the state,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.
Purcell, who is currently serving his sixth term in the Senate, seems to be benefitting from his name identification among voters as 41 percent of voters have an opinion of him (26 percent favorable, 15 percent unfavorable). Conversely, Phibbs is by and large unknown to voters in the district. Eighteen percent of voters have an opinion of him (9 percent favorable, 9 percent unfavorable), while 43 percent said they have no opinion of his candidacy.
“This gap may shrink as both candidates increase their campaign activity and start talking to voters,” added Hayes. “But it is always difficult to knock off an incumbent legislator and Phibbs has his work cut out for him.”
Senate District 25 is rated as a D+1 district on Civitas’ North Carolina Partisan Index – an index that rates the relative partisan voting habits of individual legislative districts. For more on the NCPI, click here.
For full results and crosstabs from the poll, click here.
The survey of 350 registered voters was taken June 29-30 by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Civitas Institute using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) method. It carries a margin of error of 4.9%.
This SurveyUSA poll was conducted by telephone in the voice of a professional announcer. 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.