Tight Senate Race Brewing Between Senator Warren Daniel and Democratic Challenger John McDevitt

Freshman Republican leads within margin of error at 43% to 41%

A recent Strategic Insights Survey in State Senate District 46 shows incumbent Republican Senator Warren Daniel in a statistical tie with his Democratic challenger, John McDevitt.   The survey of 400 voters shows Daniel leading McDevitt 43.3% to 41%.  Libertarian Richard Evey is pulling 2.8% and 13% of the voters remain undecided.

Both candidates are earning solid support from their political bases, with Daniel winning 78.2% of registered Republican voters and 9.7% remaining undecided.   McDevitt is receiving slightly less enthusiasm from his Democratic base with 71.3% supporting him and 13.5% remaining undecided.   Unaffiliated voters are 24% of the survey sample and they provide almost a 2-to-1 advantage to Daniel, breaking 49% for the incumbent to 26.5% for McDevitt.  However, 8.2% say they will be supporting Evey, and 16.3% remain undecided.

Overall, the generic ballot test for the state legislature gives a 6.5% advantage to Republicans.  40.5% prefer a Democratic candidate while 47% prefer a Republican.  12.5% of respondents are not sure.  Of the undecided voters in the state senate contest, 28.8% state a preference for a Republican candidate to 23.1% preferring a Democratic candidate, and 48.1% are not sure.   With both candidates virtually unknown by the undecided voters in the state senate race, it appears Daniel should have a slight structural advantage in winning the undecided vote.

In the Presidential contest, Mitt Romney is leading President Obama 49.5% to 42% with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson pulling 3.3% of the vote, and 5.3% remaining undecided.   Among undecided voters, both Romney and Obama are in need of improvement.  23.8% rate Romney favorably to 47.6% unfavorably.  Obama does worse with 14.3% favorable to 57.1% unfavorable.

Republican Pat McCrory continues to post strong numbers in the Gubernatorial contest, leading current Lt. Governor Walter Dalton 52.5% to 36%.  Libertarian Barbara Howe receives 2.5% of the vote and 9.0% of voters are undecided.  McCrory is winning Republicans 85.5% compared to 6.5% for Dalton, 0.8% for Howe and 7.3% undecided.  Dalton’s base is weaker with support among Democrats at 65.7% to 21.3% for McCrory, 2.8% for Howe, and 10.1% undecided.

Among Unaffiliated voters, McCrory is registering an impressive 67.3% of the vote to only 19.4% for Dalton and 4.1% for Howe.  9.2% of Unaffiliated voters remain undecided.

When asked about the direction North Carolina is headed, 49.3% of voters think the state is moving in the wrong direction, while 31.3% say it is headed in the right direction.  19.5% are not sure.

In addition, only 34.8% of voters say the economy will improve this year, while 26.3% say it will get worse and 30.8% believe it will stay about the same.

For a complete set of the survey crosstabs and topline summary, click the links at the top of the page.

About the Strategic Insights Survey

The Strategic Insights Survey is a survey of 400 North Carolina voters living in the 46th NC Senate District with a margin of error of +/- 5.00%.  The survey is the project of Strategic Partners Solutions and is conducted by Paul Shumaker and Dee Stewart, two well-know Republican consultants to numerous state and federal candidates. This survey was conducted on September 19, 2012 through an automated phone system.  Phone surveys are a snapshot of voters’ opinions and are subject to other factors that may influence the margin of error not present in personal interviews surveys.  However, they are an effective measure of public opinion and provide valuable insight into the opinions of all voters.

The Strategic Insights Survey is designed to provide insight into the opinions of voters on federal, state and local issues facing North Carolina.  The surveys are conducted by an automated phone system using a random sample generated by a file of North Carolina voters.   The survey is a snapshot of voters’ opinion on the key issues of the day.  It is important to remember that public opinion is fluid and is subject to change over time.  Polls are not predictors of the future.  They are a reflection of opinion based upon the current set of information available in the public arena at a given point in time.