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The Campaign Trail
Clinton and Cooper Grab Leads In Elon Poll PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Thursday, 06 October 2016 12:58
Oct. 4, 2016 – Democrat Hillary Clinton has turned a virtual tie two weeks ago into a nearly 6-point lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump in the battleground state of North Carolina, according to the latest findings by the Elon University Poll. The jump in support for Clinton comes with nearly two-thirds of likely voters saying she won the Sept. 26 presidential debate, and nearly half saying they now have less confidence in Trump after his debate performance.
“We are seeing an unusually strong post-debate bump for Clinton in North Carolina,” said Jason Husser, assistant professor of political science and the director of the Elon University Poll. “A majority of N.C. voters thought Clinton won the debate, but future campaign events will determine if this bump is only temporary or more lasting."
In the race for N.C. governor, Democrat Roy Cooper has moved ahead of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and now holds a lead of 4.4 points in the race. The growth in support for Cooper comes as McCrory has faced criticism for his support of the controversial HB2, the so-called “bathroom bill,” that has recently prompted the NCAA, the ACC and other athletics conferences to relocate championships from the state in protest. The poll has found that 55.5 percent of likely voters now believe that the law, which requires people to use the public bathroom in North Carolina that matches the gender on their birth certificate, should be repealed, compared to 34 percent who say it should remain a law.
The U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Richard Burr and Democrat challenger Deborah Ross is essentially a tie, with Ross holding less than a 1-point lead over Burr — 43.6 percent to 43.4 percent — with a little more than a month to go until Election Day.
“That Richard Burr has not fallen in poll numbers like fellow Republicans McCrory and Trump is a positive sign for the Burr campaign’s prospects as a whole,” Husser said. 
Delving into attitudes about race and policing, the Elon University Poll has found likely voters split on how police treat blacks compared to whites, with 44 percent saying police treat blacks worse, and 42 percent saying police treat whites and blacks the same. Only 2 percent said police treat blacks better.
The poll also explored issues raised following the recent shooting death of a black man by Charlotte police that sparked widespread protests. The survey found that 59 percent of respondents said protests after police shootings make matters worse while 27 percent said the protests lead to positive changes. Turning to public access to video recorded by police during shootings, such as that captured by body cameras or dash cameras, the poll found broad support for making all police-recorded videos public, with 58 percent saying they should be available and 36 percent saying police can restrict access.
The live-caller, dual frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 799 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 27-30, 2016. Of those respondents, 660 said they are likely to vote in the November election. Survey results in this news release present responses from those self-identified registered voters who say they are likely to vote in the Nov. 8 election and has a margin of error of +/- 3.81 percentage points.
Clinton’s increase in support comes after she trailed Trump by close to 2 points during the first Elon Poll of the fall, released Sept. 20. Clinton is now the preference of 44.5 percent of voters while 39 percent plan to vote for Trump. Libertarian Gary Johnson has seen an increase in support, with 9 percent planning to vote for him in November compared to 6 percent of those polled earlier last month.
Clinton has retained her support among black voters, with 98 percent planning to vote for her, while benefitting by a widening gender gap in the race. Among those planning to head to the polls in North Carolina next month, 61 percent of female voters plan to voter for Clinton while 56 percent of male voters plan to pick Trump. Two weeks ago, she held a 53-47 advantage over Trump among likely female voters.
Looking at how the two performed in the Sept. 26 debate, 64 percent of those likely voters who watched the debate picked Clinton as the winner. Democrats overwhelmingly picked Clinton as the winner, and even 30 percent of Republicans said she won the debate. Among independent voters, 63 percent said Clinton won the debate. Among likely voters who watched, 18 percent said Trump was the winner of the debate.
The N.C. governor’s race has also seen a change in leads. Cooper is now the choice of 48 percent of likely N.C. voters while 44 percent plan to pick McCrory. That’s a near reversal of the 49-46 lead that McCrory held in the first Elon University Poll of the fall released two weeks ago.
Cooper’s move to the front has come as he has generated stronger support among female voters, with 59 percent now planning to vote for him next month. That compares to a 52-48 split for Cooper among female voters found during the last poll. McCrory continues to lead Cooper with male voters by the same 55-45 margin found during the earlier poll.
“Backlash over HB2 seems to have harmed Pat McCrory’s poll numbers,” Husser said. “McCrory continues to struggle with women and with African-Americans."
Questions looking at the police treatment of blacks and issues arising out of the Sept. 20 fatal shooting of Keith Scott by a Charlotte police officer show major divisions among racial and political party lines.
Among black voters, 82 percent said police treat blacks worse than whites while 33 percent of white voters had the same opinion. Looking at party affiliation, 72 percent of Democrats said police treated black worse than whites, compared to just 15 percent of Republicans.
“The racial gap in perceptions of events in Charlotte is striking,” Husser said. “Blacks and whites are more divided over police approval and views of protests than are Democrats and Republicans."
Nearly half — 47 percent — of black voters said protests following police-involved shootings lead to positive change over the long term, compared to 22 percent of white voters who had that view. Among Republicans, 84 percent said these protests make matters worse, while 39 percent of Democrats took that stance.
The release of police-recorded video following officer-involved shootings has been at the center of many protests, including those in Charlotte. North Carolina enacted a new law on Oct. 1 that allows for the release of those videos only by court order, which will restrict public access to the video.
The Elon University Poll found that black voters, Democrats and independents were all more likely to support broad public access to the videos. White voters were divided on the issue, with 49 percent supporting making all videos publicly available and 44 percent saying police can restrict access. Among Republicans, 58 percent said police should be able to restrict access while 37 percent said all videos should be publicly available.
Clinton Outspending Trump Nearly 10 to 1 For Television Ads In North Carolina PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 13:31
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is heavily outspending Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in data compiled for WRAL News by Kantar Media. 
Clinton has used an estimated $9.3 million to put 22,840 television ads on the air since June. Trump has spent $1.7 million on 3,674 ads during the same time period. These numbers do not include cable television, direct mail and other methods of advertising. 
Television spending is signaling North Carolina is up for grabs. The Real Clear Politics polling average giving a less than 1 percentage point edge to Trump.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 14:01
Polls: Top Of The Ticket Races Tighten PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 13:20
The presidential, U.S. Senate and Governor's races are tigtening up according to the polls. 
The website Real Clear Politics has averaged the slew of North Carolina polls and has calculated in the presidential race Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a 0.8 percentage point lead over Democratic Party nominee Hilliary Clinton as of Monday. 
It’s the first time Trump has been ahead in the average since June.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Roy Cooper has a 3.6 percentage point lead over Republican incumbent Pat McCrory in the RealClearPolitics average. That’s down from a 6.3 percentage point lead earlier in September. 
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr has a 1.2 percentage point lead over Democrat Deborah Ross on RealClearPolitics. Burr’s lead has been cut sharply, down from 3.7 percentage points at the beginning of September. Two polls in the past week have given Ross a narrow lead, while others continue to favor Burr.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 13:22
McCrory Up, HB2 Down In Latest Elon Poll PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Monday, 19 September 2016 16:17

Nearly half of North Carolina voters likely to head to the polls this fall oppose HB2, the so-called “bathroom bill” that’s brought national attention to the state since its passage earlier this year. But despite distaste among many voters for the controversial legislation, one of its chief supporters has reason for some optimism in his re-election prospects, according to the latest Elon University Poll.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has built a narrow lead over his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, in North Carolina’s 2016 gubernatorial election with a little less than two months to go until Election Day. McCrory is in front of Cooper 49-46 percent among likely voters, having moved ahead of his challenger since a spring Elon Poll that found Cooper with a 6-point lead over the incumbent governor, with his lead within the survey’s margin of error.

Elon Poll 091616_Governor

Both McCrory and Cooper have strong support with their party. 92 percent of Republicans are backing McCrory while 87 percent of Democrats favor Cooper. McCrory is winning 60 percent of the crucial independent vote within the sample.

“McCrory has seen a notable surge since the Elon Poll surveyed the race in the spring,” said Jason Husser, assistant professor of political science and the director of the Elon University Poll. “Both candidates are running competitive and expensive campaigns, so it’s likely that this race for governor will remain one of the closest in the country right up until voters head to the polls in November.”

The campaigns are also divided on race. Cooper is winning 93 percent of African-American likely voters. However, McCrory leads Cooper 63 percent to 37 percent among whites. A slight gender gap exists. McCrory is winning men by 10 points but losing women by 7 points.

The U.S. Senate contest between incumbent Republican Richard Burr and his Democratic challenger, Deborah Ross, is a virtual dead heat, with 44.4 percent of likely voters expected to choose Ross, compared to 43.4 percent who are backing Burr, now seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate. Ross has gained ground since the April Elon University Poll, which found her trailing 37-33 percent among registered voters.

Husser said the reversal in the U.S. Senate race is surprising, particularly given that fellow Republican Pat McCrory has improved his standing. Future polling could help provide more insight, he said.

“We may have simply recorded a short-term blip, but we also might have found an emerging trend,” Husser said. “We suspect Burr’s numbers have potential to shift in coming weeks given a campaign cycle with huge advertising budgets.”

The live-caller, dual frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 799 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 12-16, 2016. Of those respondents, 644 said they are likely to vote in the November election. Survey results in this news release present responses from those self-identified registered voters who say they are likely to vote in the Nov. 8 election and has a margin of error of +/- 3.86 percentage points.


Adopted in March, the HB2 law includes a primary provision that requires people to use the public bathroom in North Carolina that matches the gender on their birth certificate, and was passed in response to the city of Charlotte’s effort to allow transgender people to use the public restroom that aligns with their gender identity.

Nearly half — 49.5 percent — of likely voters in the state are opposed to House Bill 2, which was passed in March by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. McCrory. The law has recently generated another round of national attention with the announcements last week by the NCAA and the ACC that they would relocate championship contests scheduled to be held in North Carolina to locations outside the state due to HB2.

More than a third — 39.5 percent — of likely voters said they support HB2, while 11 percent said they neither oppose nor support it, or don’t know how they feel about the law.

Husser said that the HB2 issue has proven to be a difficult one for the McCrory coalition. “It is easy to imagine the governor enjoying a more comfortable margin if a more popular issue such as the $2 billion in funding for education, roads, parks and infrastructure projects approved this year was a more central campaign theme than a divisive issue like HB2,” Husser said.

Q: Do you support or oppose HB2?

Support: 39.5 percent
Oppose: 49.5 percent
Neither/No opinion: 7.1 percent
Don’t know: 3.5 percent

How has the passage of HB2 impacted the governor’s race, given that McCrory has been reiterated his support for the controversial law?

Among likely voters, 27 percent said they are more likely to vote for McCrory this fall because of the way he has handled the legislation, while 36 percent said they were less likely to re-elect the governor. A segment nearly as large — 35 percent — said McCrory’s handling of the law made no difference in their preference in governor’s race.

When considering a voter’s opinion of HB2 and choice for governor, it appears that McCrory is still able to attract voters who oppose the controversial law. Among those planning to vote for McCrory, 25 percent said they oppose HB2. On the flipside, 14 percent of those planning to vote for Cooper say they support HB2.

Q: Has Gov. Pat McCrory’s handling of HB2 made you more or less likely to vote to re-elect him as governor?

More likely: 26.9 percent
Less likely: 36.2 percent
No difference: 34.6 percent
Don’t know: 2.1 percent

Nearly 60 percent of likely voters believe that HB2 has damaged North Carolina’s reputation, compared to 11 percent who believe it has improved the state’s reputation. About a quarter of likely voters say the state’s reputation is about the same as it was before HB2 was passed.

Digging deeper, analysis shows a sizable group of voters who support HB2, but nonetheless believe North Carolina’s reputation has suffered since the law was adopted. Among those who support the law, more than a third – 36 percent – believe that the state’s national reputation has worsened since HB2, while about a quarter – 23 percent – of those HB2 supporters say it has improved. Supporters of the law were more likely to say the state’s reputation has remained about the same since the law was passed than those that oppose the law or don’t have an opinion about it.

Q: Regardless of what you think about HB2 itself, do you think the national reputation of North Carolina is better, worse, or about the same since HB2 passed?

Better: 11.4 percent
Worse: 59.9 percent
About the same: 23.1 percent
Don’t know: 5.1 percent


Breaking down voter opinions on HB2, which was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by a Republican governor, by party affiliation reflects an expected split along party lines, though Democrats appear to be more united in their opposition to the measure than Republicans are in their support of HB2.

Republicans support HB2 by nearly a two-to-one margin, with 58 percent saying they support HB2 and 31 percent saying they oppose it. Among Democrats, about two-thirds – 67 percent – oppose HB2 and 23 percent support the law. The split was relatively even among independents, with HB2 is opposed by 48 percent and 42 percent saying they support it.

Turning to gender, women tend to oppose HB2 more often than support it while men are more evenly divided on the law. The survey found that 54 percent of women oppose the law while 36 percent support it. Among those men surveyed, 45 percent said they oppose HB2 while 44 percent support the law.

Elon Poll HB2 Gender September 2016

Race also appears to have an impact on how voters view the controversial law, with black voters more likely to oppose it, but also more likely to be undecided on the issue than white voters. White voters were close to being evenly split on the matter, with 48 percent opposing the law, 43 percent supporting it and 9 percent saying they didn’t know or neither supported or opposed HB2.

Black voters oppose the law 61 percent to 22 percent, with a larger segment not coming down on either side. Those that either didn’t know or neither supported or opposed HB2 accounted for 16 percent of black voters.

Elon Poll HB2 Race September 2016

“It is difficult to make the case that HB2 has helped Republicans in North Carolina,” Husser said. “Opposition to the legislation is widespread, but support is concentrated to voters who would likely be Republican loyalists with or without HB2.”


Elon University Poll

Conducted in the fall and spring of every academic year, the Elon University Poll was started in 2000 and is fully funded by Elon University as a public service to citizens. It is a neutral, independent operation that does not do contract work. The poll uses live, trained interviewers operating in a computer-assisted telephone lab on campus. 


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