Raleigh, N.C. – Republican candidate Wesley Meredith is leading the race for the state Senate District 19 seat against Democratic candidate Margaret Dickson 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 Bladen and Cumberland counties – 42 percent of voters said that if the election for state senator were held today they would vote for Meredith. Thirty-eight percent said they would vote for Dickson, a House member who was appointed in January to fill the remaining term of Tony Rand, and 20 percent said they were undecided.
Support for Meredith increases to 49 percent of voters polled, who are most likely to vote in November, while 35 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Dickson. Additionally, 44 percent of Independent voters said they would vote for Meredith, while 17 percent said they would likely cast their vote for Dickson.
“Unaffiliated voters are trending toward voting Republican this year,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “Meredith benefits and can win if this trend continues through Election Day.”
Dickson has a net favorability +2 after having been seen favorably by 16 percent of voters and unfavorably by 14 percent of voters. Subtracting a candidate’s unfavorable rating from his or her favorable rating produces a net favorable number. Conversely, 41 percent of voters said they were neutral and 29 percent said they had no opinion of Dickson’s candidacy.
Despite Dickson holding the advantage of greater voter identification, Meredith appears to have gained some name recognition from serving on the Fayetteville City Council. He is seen favorably by 9 percent of the district’s voters while 11 percent have an unfavorable opinion, giving him a net favorability rating of -2. Forty-one percent said they were neutral while 39 percent said they had no opinion concerning Meredith’s favorability.
“While this area leans Democratic, Dickson is basically running in an open seat as her district only overlapped some of the new Senate district when she was appointed,” added Hayes. “Republicans could pick up a seat if the current political wave continues and if Meredith is able to increase his name recognition among voters in the district.”
Looking at the generic ballot, 45 percent of voters said that in the election for state legislature this fall, they will vote for the Republican candidate. Thirty-eight percent said they will vote for the Democratic candidate, and 17 percent said they were undecided. Meanwhile, support for the Republican candidate increases to 52 percent when looking at those most likely to vote in the election.
Senate District 19 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. 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.