Polls

Voters lack knowledge about candidates

| Tom Jensen

Header-poll-resultsRaleigh, N.C. – Few of the people planning to vote in next week’s primary for the Senate in North Carolina can identify even the most basic facts about the leading candidates in the race.

Only 47% know that Elaine Marshall is the Secretary of State, just 30% are aware that Cal Cunningham served in Iraq, and 15% can name Kenneth Lewis as the candidate who’s been endorsed by many major black leaders in the state.

The numbers on Cunningham are a clear indicator of the power of television ads.  In the Triangle and Triad where he’d already been up on the air when the poll was conducted 47% and 40% respectively of voters were able to identify his Iraq service.  In Charlotte and the mountains, where he was not yet on tv, only 15% and 11% could.

Voters in the Triangle are more knowledgeable about the candidates across the board.  While only 15% statewide know about Lewis’ endorsements, 27% there do. While just 47% overall know Marshall’s current office, 64% in that region do.

The particularly troublesome crosstab for Lewis is that there are more black voters who think that Marshall has been endorsed by Mel Watt, Harvey Gantt, and Eva Clayton than there are who can correctly name Lewis as the recipient of these endorsements.

“We’ve known for a long time that a lot of voters were undecided in this race and now we have a better idea of why,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.  “The fact that they don’t know the most elementary of facts about the candidates is a clear indication that most voters are operating on very little information.”

PPP surveyed 458 likely Democratic primary voters from April 24th to 26th.  The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.6%.  Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.

Complete results are attached and can be found at www.publicpolicypolling.com.

If you would like an interview regarding this release, please contact Dean Debnam at (888) 621-6988 or 919-880-4888.

Topline results are below. Full results, including crosstabs, can be found here.

Q1 Which of the US Senate candidates do you
think has been endorsed by Mel Watt, Harvey
Gantt, and Eva Clayton?
Kenneth Lewis ………………………………………… 15%
Elaine Marshall ……………………………………….. 12%
Marcus Williams………………………………………. 4%
Ann Worthy…………………………………………….. 1%
Cal Cunningham……………………………………… 8%
Susan Harris …………………………………………… 1%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 60%

Q2 Which of the US Senate candidates do you
think served in Iraq?
Kenneth Lewis ………………………………………… 8%
Elaine Marshall ……………………………………….. 3%
Marcus Williams………………………………………. 2%
Ann Worthy…………………………………………….. 1%
Cal Cunningham……………………………………… 30%
Susan Harris …………………………………………… 0%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 56%

Q3 Which of the US Senate candidates do you
think is the North Carolina Secretary of State?
Kenneth Lewis ………………………………………… 4%
Elaine Marshall ……………………………………….. 47%
Marcus Williams………………………………………. 2%
Ann Worthy…………………………………………….. 2%
Cal Cunningham……………………………………… 4%
Susan Harris …………………………………………… 1%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 41%

Q4 Would you describe yourself as a liberal,
moderate, or conservative? If liberal, press 1. If
moderate, press 2. If conservative, press 3.
Liberal ……………………………………………………. 36%
Moderate………………………………………………… 45%
Conservative…………………………………………… 19%

Q5 If you are a woman, press 1, if a man, press 2.
Woman ………………………………………………….. 61%
Man……………………………………………………….. 39%

Q6 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If an
independent, press 2.
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 84%
Independent……………………………………………. 16%

Q7 If you are white, press one now. If you are
African-American, press two now. If other,
press 3.
White …………………………………………………….. 62%
African-American …………………………………….. 35%
Other……………………………………………………… 4%

Q8 If you are 18 to 29 years old, press 1 now. If
you are 30 to 45, press 2. If you are 46 to 65,
press 3. If older, press 4.
18 to 29………………………………………………….. 8%
30 to 45………………………………………………….. 20%
46 to 65………………………………………………….. 44%
Older than 65………………………………………….. 28%

Q9
252………………………………………………………… 13%
336………………………………………………………… 16%
704………………………………………………………… 18%
828………………………………………………………… 11%
910………………………………………………………… 17%
919………………………………………………………… 25%

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