Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic incumbent Jane Whilden is trailing Republican challenger Tim Moffitt in the race for State House District 116 seat according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, 45 percent of voters said that if the election for state representative were held today they would vote for Moffitt. Thirty-eight percent said they would vote for Whilden, and 17 percent said they were undecided.
Of those most likely to vote in November, 49 percent said they would vote for Moffitt, while 40 percent of voters said they would likely vote for Whilden.
“In a rematch of a very close race in 2008, Moffitt appears to be riding the favorable Republican tide into office,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.
Both candidates are relatively unknown in name identification, thus impacting their favorability ratings – subtracting a candidate’s unfavorable rating from his favorable rating produces a net favorable number. Whilden is seen favorably by 11 percent of the district’s voters while 12 percent have an unfavorable opinion, giving her a net favorability rating of -1. Thirty-six percent said they were neutral while 41 percent said they had no opinion concerning Whilden’s favorability.
Moffitt has a net favorability +2 after having been seen favorably by nine percent of voters and unfavorably by seven percent of voters. However, 33 percent of voters said they were neutral and 51 percent said they had no opinion of Moffitt’s candidacy.
“While Moffitt’s name identification is very low, Whilden has done very little to distinguish herself during her term in office and is actually running behind the generic Democratic ballot,” added Hayes.
When looking at the generic ballot, 45 percent of voters said that in the election for state legislature this fall, they will vote for the Republican candidate. Forty percent said they will vote for the Democratic candidate, and 15 percent said they were undecided. Meanwhile, support for the Republican candidate increases to 50 percent when looking at those most likely to vote in the election.
House District 116 is rated as an R+2 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 18-20 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. 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.