Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic incumbent Bill Faison is leading opponent Rick Smith in the state House District 50 race, according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, comprised of Caswell and Orange counties, 48 percent of voters said they would vote for Faison if the election for state representative were held today. Thirty-nine percent said they would vote for Smith, and 13 percent said they are undecided.
When looking at voters who are most likely to vote in 2010, Faison’s lead slightly shrinks to 48 percent-42 percent.
“Faison is able to build lead at the moment by keeping his base intact. However, nearly a third of unaffiliated voters remain undecided in this race and will largely influence the outcome,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.
Faison, currently serving his third House term, has a net favorability rating +2 (21 percent favorable-19 percent unfavorable) among voters. Thirty percent of voters are neutral, while 30 percent said they have no opinion of his candidacy.
Smith is still relatively unknown among voters – 16 percent of voters have an opinion of him (9 percent favorable-7 percent unfavorable), for a net favorable rating +2. Thirty-seven percent of voters said their opinion is neutral, and 48 percent said they have no opinion of Smith’s campaign for state representative.
“Smith has an uphill battle in a district that leans Democratic, but Obama’s unpopularity with unaffiliated voters could help make this a very competitive race,” added Hayes.
House District 50 is rated as a D+6 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 September 15-16 by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Civitas Institute using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) method. It carries a margin of error of +/- 5.3%.
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.