Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina voters favor Republican candidates for NC General Assembly and Congress over their Democratic counterparts according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute. This marks only the third time in five years of Civitas polling that Republicans have had a lead in the generic ballot.
In the live caller poll of 600 likely 2010 voters, respondents were asked if the election were held today, would they be voting for the Republican or Democratic candidate for state Legislature. Republicans were favored over Democrats by a 37-35 percent margin. Eight percent of voters said neither party, while 20 percent said they were unsure.
Among voters who say they are definitely voting in the upcoming 2010 elections, the lead for Republicans grows to 39-35 percent.
“The tide is with the Republicans right now,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “Historically, we’ve seen Democrats with a two-to-four point generic ballot advantage, so for Republicans to be ahead by that amount is a significant shift in voter sentiment. The question is, can they hold onto this advantage until November.”
Republicans also lead the generic ballot for US Congress by a similar two-point margin, 38-36 percent.
One driving force behind Republican gains is unaffiliated voters, who have switched their support away from Democratic candidates for state Legislature. In a Civitas poll taken the week before the 2008 election, unaffiliated voters supported Democrats by a six-point margin. In this month’s poll, Republicans now lead among unaffiliated voters by 20 points.
“The negative reaction to moves by Democrats in DC and record unemployment and troubles in North Carolina are obviously contributing to Republican gains in the polls,” added De Luca.
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more polling information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.
Full text of questions:
If the election for North Carolina State Legislature were held today, would you be voting:
Democratic – 35%
Republican – 37%
Neither – 8%
Not Sure – 20%
If the election for US Congress were held today, would you be voting:
Democratic – 36%
Republican – 38%
Neither – 6%
Not Sure – 20%
This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted March 16-18, 2010 by Tel Opinion Research of Alexandria, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.