Civitas Poll: Dem Primary Voters Choices Fluid

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May 4, 2012
CONTACT: Jim Tynen (919) 834-2099

Raleigh, N.C. – Democratic primary races at the top of the ticket may be closer than expected, according to recent a recent Civitas Institute poll.

In the Democratic Governor’s Race, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton had been seen as pulling away, but a closer look raises questions about his lead. In the Civitas Poll, Dalton had a 6 percentage-point lead over former Congressman Bob Etheridge among those who have already voted. But that lead dropped to a 25-to 23-percent margin among those who are yet to vote.

In the Lieutenant Governor’s race, state personnel chief Linda Coleman has a 34-to-13 percent lead among the 15 percent of respondents saying they have already voted. For those yet to vote, however, state Sen. Eric Mansfield is leading: 18 percent of likely Democratic voters responding picked him, while 17 percent preferred Coleman.

Also, in both these races half or more of the voters remain uncommitted.

“Our April 30-May 2 poll of those who voted by mail or through One-Stop Absentee Voting shows an edge for one candidate in these contests,” said Civitas President Francis De Luca. “But looking at those yet to vote, we see those voters are much less supportive of the early favorites. In addition, with half of likely voters still making up their minds, it’s not over yet.”

The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina.  For more information on Civitas polling, see

Full text of questions:

Already Voted:

And can you please tell me who you voted for Governor?

25%     Walter Dalton
19%     Bob Etheridge
4%       Bill Faison
1%       Gary Dunn
3%       Gardenia Henley
—         Bruce Blackmon
48%     Other/Refused

And can you please tell me who you voted for Lieutenant Governor?

34%     Linda Coleman
13%     Eric Mansfield
53%     Refused

Not yet voted:

If the Democratic Primary for Governor were being held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote between:

25%     Walter Dalton
23%     Bob Etheridge
3%       Bill Faison
1%       Gary Dunn
—         Gardenia Henley
1%       Bruce Blackmon
47%     Undecided/Other

If the Democratic Primary for Lieutenant Governor were being held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote between Linda Coleman and Eric Mansfield…

17%     Total Coleman
18%     Total Mansfield

7%       Definitely Coleman
8%       Probably Coleman
3%       Lean Coleman
3%       Lean Mansfield
9%       Probably Mansfield
6%       Definitely Mansfield
65%     Undecided/Refused

For the full results and crosstabs, click here.

These two polls were each of 400 registered voters who were likely primary voters in their respective primaries in North Carolina and was conducted between April 30 and May 2, 2012 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ.  All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered 2012 primary election voters in North Carolina.  For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past two primary elections (2008, 2010) or be newly registered to vote since May 1, 2010.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 400 interviews (registered voters) will be within +- 4.9% 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 at least one of the past two primary elections or is newly registered to vote since May 1, 2010.

More information on the Civitas Institute is available at, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099.

About Jim Tynen

Communications director at Civitas.
This article was posted in Press Releases by Jim Tynen on May 4, 2012 at 9:22 AM.

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