Raleigh, N.C. – Republican candidate Mike Stone is ahead of Democratic incumbent Jimmy Love in the state House District 51 race according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district – comprised of Harnett and Lee counties – 47 percent of voters said if the election for state representative were held today they would vote for Stone. Forty-three percent said they would vote for Love and 11 percent said they were undecided.
Among voters who said they were most likely to vote in 2010, Stone’s lead increases to 51 percent from 38 percent.
“This race is still close, but the statewide momentum trending towards Republicans could push Stone over the top,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.
Both candidates’ favorable ratings are virtually tied – subtracting a candidate’s unfavorable rating from his favorable rating produces a net favorable number. Love, currently serving his seventh House term, is viewed favorably by 28 percent of voters. Nineteen percent said they have an unfavorable opinion, and 20 percent said they have no opinion, giving him a net favorable rating +9.
Moreover, Stone appears to have gained name recognition among voters through his time served as Sanford Mayor Pro-tempore and City Councilman. Nineteen percent of voters said they view him favorably, 11 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion, and 31 percent said they have no opinion, for a net favorable +8.
“The next few months will be telling as both candidates try to distinguish themselves among voters,” added Hayes.
Analyzing the generic ballot, respondents were asked if the election for state legislature were held today, would they vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate. Among all respondents, regardless of their likelihood to vote, Republicans were favored over Democrats by a 50-37 percent margin. Twelve percent of voters said they were undecided.
House District 51 is rated as an R+1 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 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.