Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic Speaker of the House Joe Hackney leads Republican challenger Cathy Wright in his reelection bid to House District 54 according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, which consists of Chatham and portions of Moore, and Orange counties, 53 percent of voters said they would vote for Hackney if the election for state Representative were held today. Thirty-seven percent said they would vote for Wright, and 10 percent said they are undecided.
This lead shrinks, however, to a 49-43 percent margin among voters who say they are definitely voting in November.
In 2006, Hackney’s last contested election, he garnered 70 percent of the vote against opponent Republican Alvin Reed.
“This is a fairly solid Democratic district where Hackney should be a strong favorite to win re-election given the leanings of the district and his strong fundraising advantage,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “However, the fact that it is competitive among the most likely voters shows the overwhelming Republican tide and enthusiasm gap this year.”
Meanwhile, Democratic backing for Hackney remains high as they support him by an 85 percent-9 percent margin. Republican voters support Wright by a margin of 83 percent-12 percent as unaffiliated voters, the fastest growing voter segment in North Carolina, are also leaning towards Wright by a 51 percent-28 percent margin.
Hackney’s name recognition as an incumbent appears to be adding to his lead as 36 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him while 17 percent view him unfavorably for a +19 favorability rating. Conversely, Wright is relatively unknown in the district as just 24 percent of voters have an opinion of her (15 percent favorable-9 percent unfavorable). Thirty-two percent of voters said they are neutral, and 45 percent said they have no opinion of Wright’s candidacy.
“The test will be whether Hackney’s base Democratic support shows up to the polls,” added Hayes.
House District 54 is rated as a D+7 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 10-11 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.