Raleigh, N.C. – In the election for North Carolina’s 6th House District seat, which covers Beaufort and Pitt counties, Democratic incumbent Arthur Williams and Republican candidate Bill Cook are virtually tied according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, 43 percent of voters said if the election for state representative were today they would vote for Cook. Forty-one percent said they would vote for the incumbent Williams and 16 percent said they were undecided.
However, looking at the generic ballot, the margin increases by 12 points in favor of Republicans when voters are asked if they will vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in the fall (51 percent-39 percent).
“This district leans Republicans and the voters are certainly moving that way this year,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “Williams is better known, but the nationwide tide is favoring Republicans, especially among unaffiliated voters.”
Williams, who is currently serving his fourth term in the House, has an equal number of voters having a favorable or unfavorable impression of him (18 percent favorable-18 percent unfavorable) despite holding a significant name advantage over his opponent. Cook, meanwhile, holds net favorable rating +6 as 22 percent of voters have an opinion of him (14 percent favorable-8 percent unfavorable).
“Williams’ low favorability numbers are somewhat surprising given his long-term incumbency and familiarity among constituents in Beaufort County,” added Hayes.
House District 6 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.
Additionally, the poll found that only 23 percent of the district’s voters think the state is headed in the right direction compared to 56 percent who say it is on the wrong track.
President Barack Obama and Governor Bev Perdue have similar job performance numbers in the district with 57 percent of voters disapproving of their respective performances in office. Thirty-eight percent approve of Obama’s performance, while only 32 percent approve of Perdue’s.
Also, two-thirds (66 percent) of the district’s voters support amending the state’s Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, only 25 percent opposed.
For full results and crosstabs from the poll, click here.
The survey of 350 registered voters was taken June 29-30 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.