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State Senator Mike Lee Ahead in Latest Poll

Approval High for Government's Handling of Hurricane Florence
November 1, 2018


RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, the Civitas Institute released the results of its final state Senate poll before the election on November 6.

Civitas surveyed 400 registered voters in North Carolina’s 9th  state Senate district, which spans New Hanover County, an area that recently sustained significant hurricane damage. Unaffiliated voters make up the largest voting bloc in this district, according to Carolina Elections. The Civitas Partisan Index designates this district as a Swing Republican (R+1).

The poll found Republican State Senator Michael Lee with a 7-point lead over his Democratic opponent, Harper Peterson. Ethan Bickley, the Libertarian Party candidate, garnered two percent support, while 11 percent remain undecided.

In the election for state Senate district 9, how do you vote? 
Michael Lee            47%
Harper Peterson    40%
Ethan Bickley           2%
Undecided              11%

“Looking deeper into the poll, Senator Lee has very positive favorability with men, at 10 percent.  Mr. Peterson, by contrast, is underwater with men by 6 percent,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “A 16-point swing among nearly half of voters isn’t something that can be ignored this late in the game.”

This survey also asked registered voters how they felt about the government’s handling of Hurricane Florence:

Generally speaking, do you approve or disapprove of the way the state government handled the aftermath of Hurricane Florence?
Approve        75%
Disapprove   13%
Not Sure       12%

Bryson continued, “If disaster recovery is a campaign issue in New Hanover County, we’ll have to wait and see if this positive feeling about the response is about the state government generally, which may include Senator Lee, or about Gov. Roy Cooper, specifically.”

Registered voters were also asked a variety of other questions, including their thoughts on raising taxes to provide more government services, as well as who they trust to handle policies affecting jobs and the economy in North Carolina.

NOTE: Libertarian Candidate Ethan Bickley dropped out of the race on October 31, the final day of this poll. It is unclear on how this may have affected overall poll results, had Bickley’s announcement come earlier. This poll assumes all three candidates were staying in the race.

Toplines and crosstabs of this survey can be found here.

This poll was conducted by SurveyUSA. Data was collected 10/26/2018-10/31/2018. Four hundred registered voters from North Carolina’s 9th state Senate district were contacted using blended sample, mixed mode. The margin of error is +/- 7.1%.

For questions, or to arrange an interview, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

Civitas has conducted live-caller voting in North Carolina since May 2005, and we are the only public policy organization offering statewide independent, nonpartisan data on a regular basis. Our polls have provided vital insights on what North Carolina voters think of the leaders and issues facing the state and nation.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization committed to advancing conservative ideas and shrinking the size of government. Civitas fights to eliminate government barriers to freedom so that North Carolinians can live a better life.

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