Raleigh, N.C. – The race for North Carolina’s 11th district Congressional seat is a dead heat (45 percent-44 percent) between Democratic incumbent Heath Shuler and Republican candidate Jeff Miller as the unaffiliated vote looks to become the deciding factor according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 400 registered voters in that district, when asked who they would vote for if the election for United States House of Representatives were today, 45 percent of voters said they would vote for Shuler. Forty-four percent said they would vote for Miller, and 11 percent said they were undecided.
“Despite Shuler voting against many of the unpopular bills that have been passed by Congress, the unpopularity of President Obama and the Democratic Congress is making this a competitive race,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.
Shuler, who is currently serving his second Congressional term, has a -3 favorable rating (29 percent favorable-32 percent unfavorable) even though he holds a significant name advantage over his opponent. Thirty-six percent of voters said they are neutral on his candidacy.
Conversely, Miller, despite only 32 percent of voters having an opinion of him, has a net +6 favorable rating as 19 percent of voters view him favorably while 13 percent view him unfavorably. Thirty-six percent said their opinion is neutral.
Among independents – the fastest growing voter segment in North Carolina – just one percent have no opinion of Shuler while his favorable to unfavorable margin is 23 percent-38 percent. Thirty percent of independent voters said they have no opinion of Miller’s candidacy whereas his favorability margin is 23 percent-8 percent.
“Independent voters have already made up their minds about Shuler – many of whom view him unfavorably,” added Hayes. “Miller could have the advantage if he picks up the undecided independent vote.”
For full results and crosstabs from the poll, click here.
The survey of 400 registered voters was taken July 22-25 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.