Incumbent McLawhorn Holds Lead in NC House 9 Contest

Democratic Incumbent defying Republican leaning district with 11-point lead over Republican challenger Brian Brown.

The most recent Strategic Insights Survey for North Carolina House District 9 shows Democratic incumbent Marian McLawhorn leading 48% to 36.7% over Republican challenger Brian Brown.  The survey of 300 general election voters was taken on August 20-21, 2012 and tracks the Presidential and Gubernatorial races in the district as well.

McLawhorn’s performance in the poll directly runs counter to the generic partisan ballot, a plus 12% point advantage for Republicans as well as strong showings for Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Pat McCrory.

The foundation of McLawhorn’s support lies with the candidate holding her share of the voting base among Democratic voters while pulling nearly 17% of the Republican vote, and winning Unaffiliated voters by a 39.7% to 37% margin.

The critical question moving forward will be can McLawhorn hold this vote coalition without help from the top of the ticket.

In the Presidential race, Romney is pulling 22.6% of the Democratic vote, 95% of the Republican vote and 56% of the Unaffiliated vote for an overall ballot advantage of 53.3% to 39.7% for President Obama.

Republican Gubernatorial nominee McCrory posts similar numbers, pulling 19.5% of Democrats, 93% of Republicans and 46.6% of Unaffiliated voters for an overall ballot advantage of 49% to just 30.3% for Lt. Governor Walter Dalton.

McLawhorn’s Republican challenger House Brian Brown is relatively unknown, with 16% of voters having a favorable impression of the candidate and 15.3% unfavorable.  44.3% have heard of Brown but have no opinion and 24.3% said they have never heard of him.

34.7% of voters said they had a favorable impression of Marian McLawhorn to 24% who said they had an unfavorable impression.  34% said they had heard of her but had no opinion and only 7.3% said they had never heard of her.

This race will most certainly tighten as Brown’s awareness increases in the coming months.  The generic ballot favors the Republican candidate by nearly 13 points with 15.8% of Democrats preferring a Republican and 43.8% of Unaffiliated voters preferring a Republican to just 23.3% who said they preferred a Democratic candidate.    Republicans are united in their choice with 93.6% stating they preferred a Republican candidate to just 3.2% who said Democratic.

Over half of the voters thought the state is headed in the wrong direction, with 51.3% stating wrong direction to 28.3% saying it is headed in the right direction.  In addition, voters are not optimistic about the economy improving, with 29.3% saying it would get worse, 40.0% believing it would stay the same while only 22.3% said it would improve.

For a complete set of the survey crosstabs and topline summary, click on the following link: www. stratpart.com .

About the Strategic Insights Survey

The Strategic Insights Survey is a survey of 300 North Carolina voters living in the 9th NC House District with a margin of error of +/- 5.66%.  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 August 21-22, 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.