Michael Speciale leads Robert Cayton 44.3% to 30.7% in NC House 3 Contest

Republican Speciale benefiting from Republican strength on top of the ballot in this open-seat legislative contest.

In the most recent Strategic Insights Survey of 300 general election voters in North Carolina House District 3, Republican Michael Speciale is leading his Democratic opponent Robert Cayton by nearly 14% points in a district that heavily favors a Republican candidate.

Both candidates are still undefined to a majority of voters so the voting preference for both is well below 50%.  For Speciale, his vote is reinforced with better definition within his own Party and the strong ballot performance of both Mitt Romney and Pat McCrory.

Romney leads 59.0% to just 36.0% for President Obama.  74.6% of Romney voters are supporting Speciale to just 7.9% for Cayton.  Obama voters are supporting Cayton 70.4% to 0% for Speciale, but there are a lot fewer Obama voters in the district than Romney voters.

McCrory leads Lt. Governor Dalton 49.7% to 32.0% with Libertarian Barbara Howe pulling 5.0% of the vote.  McCrory voters are supporting Speciale 79.2% to 6.0 % for Cayton while Dalton voters support Cayton 75.0% to 8.3% for Speciale.

The generic ballot test for state legislative races shows a 19.3% point advantage for Republicans, with 22.5% of Democrats saying they preferred a Republican candidate and 69.2% staying with their Party.  Republicans were united with 93.2% stating their Party while only 2.9% of Republicans said they preferred a Democratic candidate.  Adding to the Republican advantage were the Unaffiliated voters with 51.9% preferring a Republican candidate to 24.7% choosing a Democrat.

Over half of all voters still have no opinion or have never heard of both candidates in the State House contest.  Speciale image numbers were 23.0% favorable to 15.7% unfavorable, with 47.0% saying they have heard of him but have no opinion and 19.0% saying they have never heard of him.  Robert Cayton was 15.0% favorable to 13.3% unfavorable, with 42.3% saying they had heard of him but had no opinion and 24.7% saying they had never heard of him.

Speciale was much better known within his own Party, with Republicans being 36.9% favorable to 6.8% unfavorable, compared to Cayton, who was 19.2% favorable to 13.3% unfavorable with Democratic voters.

Half of the voters think the state is headed in the wrong direction, 50.0% wrong direction to 32.0% right direction, while 18% were not sure.

Only 24.0% of voters said the economy would improve this year, while 29.3% said it would get worse and 37.0% said it would stay about the same.

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

About the Strategic Insights Survey

The Strategic Insights Survey is a survey of 300 North Carolina voters living in the 3rd NC House District with a margin of error of +/- 5.77%.  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 11, 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.