Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic incumbent William Brisson holds a narrow, three point lead over opponent John Szoka in the state House District 22 race, according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, which covers Bladen and portions of Cumberland County, 42 percent of voters said they would vote for Brisson if the election for state representative were today. Thirty-nine percent of voters said they would vote for Szoka, and 19 percent said they are undecided.
Conversely, the generic ballot reveals that 47 percent of voters said they will vote for the Republican candidate this fall. Forty-one percent of voters said they will vote for the Democratic candidate, and 11 percent said they are undecided.
“District 22 leans slightly Democratic, but with the current environment towards Republicans, this race is competitive,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “Republican enthusiasm and the trend of unaffiliated voters toward Republican candidates could give Szoka a boost.”
Brisson, currently serving his 2nd House term, seems to be benefitting from his name recognition among voters as an incumbent. Thirty-four percent of voters said they have an opinion of him (21 percent favorable-13 percent unfavorable) for a net +8 favorable rating. Forty-two percent of voters said they are neutral, and 24 percent said they have no opinion of his candidacy.
Meanwhile, Szoka has a +4 net favorability rating as his favorability margin stands at 14 percent favorable-10 percent unfavorable. Thirty-seven percent of voters said their opinion of Szoka is neutral, while 39 percent of voters said they have no opinion of his campaign for state representative.
“Brisson has the advantage in name identification among the district’s voters; however, with the large number of undecided voters, this race is either candidate’s to win,” added Hayes.
House District 22 is rated as a D+3 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 August 23-24 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.