Raleigh, N.C. – Incumbent Democratic Senator A.B. Swindell trails his Republican challenger Buck Newton by 6 percentage points according to a new Survey USA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, comprised of Nash and Wilson counties, 47 percent of voters said they would vote for Newton if the election for state senator were today. Forty-one percent said they would vote for Swindell, and 12 percent said they are undecided.
Newton’s lead jumps to 54 percent-40 percent among voters who said they are most likely to vote in 2010. Additionally, unaffiliated voters are heavily backing Newton by a 62-17 margin.
“Senator Swindell appears to be in serious political trouble,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “The overwhelming Republican wave running through the electorate is on the verge of sweeping him out of office.”
Newton has built his lead through a higher favorable name identification advantage over the incumbent Swindell. Twenty-five percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Newton, while only 13 percent have an unfavorable opinion, for a net +12 favorability rating. Among unaffiliated voters, Newton’s favorability rating is +22.
Conversely, Swindell’s favorability rating is a -1, with slightly more voters holding an unfavorable opinion (21%) of the Senator than having a favorable opinion (20%). Swindell’s favorability rating among unaffiliated voters is -9 (13% favorable, 22% unfavorable).
“Newton’s lead is directly attributable to his favorable standing among unaffiliated voters in the district. Swindell is going to have to work very hard to get those voters, who are trending more Republican this year, back into his camp,” added Hayes.
Senate District 11 is rated as a D+4 district on Civitas’ North Carolina Partisan Index – an index that rates the relative partisan voting habits of individual legislative districts, meaning that it leans to the Democratic candidates. 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 31-September 1, 2010 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.