Raleigh, N.C. – In the election for North Carolina’s open 8th Senate District seat, Republican Bill Rabon has expanded his lead over Democratic challenger David Redwine to nineteen percentage points, a four point increase since May, according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, which is comprised of Brunswick, Columbus, and Pender counties, 53 percent said they would vote for Rabon if the election for state senator were held today. Thirty-four percent of voters said they would vote for Redwine, and 13 percent said they are undecided.
Contributing to Rabon’s lead is strong support from unaffiliated voters who he leads by a 55 percent-25 percent margin, a four percent increase since May. Among most likely voters in 2010, Rabon’s lead slightly increases to 57 percent-32 percent of voters.
“Rabon has maintained momentum from a competitive primary and is capitalizing upon the unaffiliated voter shift away from Democrats,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “It is going to take a major investment from Redwine and the state Democratic Party to make this race competitive.”
Redwine, a former state representative, is seen favorably by just 16 percent of voters while 21 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him, for a -5 favorability rating. This is a 12 percent drop in support from May when Redwine’s favorable rating was +7 (20 percent favorable-13 percent unfavorable). Forty percent of voters said they are neutral, and 23 percent said they have no opinion.
Conversely, 46 percent of voters have an opinion of Rabon (34 percent favorable-12 percent unfavorable), giving him a net +22 favorable rating, a three percent increase since May. Thirty-five percent of voters said they are neutral, and 19 percent said they have no opinion on his candidacy.
“We continue to see voters’ moods sour toward Democratic candidates as enthusiasm and reception toward Republicans is increasing across much of the state,” added Hayes. “Redwine is feeling the brunt of this storm.”
Senate District 8 is rated as an R+3 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 22-23 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.