Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic incumbent Congressman Bob Etheridge’s electoral future appears to be in jeopardy as he trails Republican challenger Renee Ellmers by 5 percentage points with less than one week until the election.
According to the poll of 400 registered voters in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, Ellmers leads Etheridge 46 percent to 41 percent. Libertarian candidate Tom Rose garners 6 percent of the vote while 7 percent of voters are undecided.
Among voters who say they are definitely voting this year, Ellmers’ lead grows to 49 percent to 40 percent.
“Bob Etheridge is in the political fight of his life,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “The Republican tide sweeping across the nation appears to be catching Bob Etheridge in its wake.”
Ellmers is able to build a lead due to strength among unaffiliated voters who are supporting her by a 52-19 margin. Etheridge is also losing 20 percent of his Democratic base vote to Ellmers.
Support for Etheridge tracks nearly in line with voter support for President Barack Obama in the district. An identical 41 percent of voters both approve of the job Obama is doing as President and say they are voting for Etheridge. Ninety-seven percent of voters who say they disapprove of the job Obama is doing are voting for Ellmers.
“Voter dissatisfaction with President Obama and Congress is more of a factor in this race than the personality of either of the candidates. It may not matter what Bob Etheridge does or says, voters are taking out their frustrations with Washington on him,” added Hayes.
For full results and crosstabs from the poll, click here.
The survey of 400 registered voters was taken October 21-24 by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Civitas Institute using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) method. It carries a margin of error of +/- 5%.
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.