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VOTE 2010: Survey - NC residents leaning toward GOP in midterm elections, pessimistic about economy

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HIGH POINT, NC (NEWS RELEASE) – The Survey Research Center at High Point University found that North Carolina residents are offering up more support to Republican candidates, and they’re also more pessimistic about their personal finances and business conditions than they were just six months ago.

Results include:

· A majority of residents – 45 percent – prefer incumbent Sen. Richard Burr for re-election rather than his opponent, N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who received support from 31 percent. Libertarian Party candidate, Mike Beitler received support from 4 percent; 18 percent of the respondents were undecided.

· Republicans gained a small advantage in a generic ballot question regarding party preference. Respondents were asked to choose a party rather than individuals in races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans held a small – while not statistically significant – edge, garnering support from 42 percent of respondents versus 39 percent who supported Democrats; 17 percent were undecided.

“Our survey suggests that Democrats have an uphill battle in the elections for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives this year,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the Survey Research Center. “Attitudes in North Carolina reflect what pollsters and political analysts are seeing across the country.”

Additionally, the survey asked respondents about financial situations, which produced the following results:

· The survey found that state residents are more negative about their own financial situations and somewhat pessimistic about the prospects for the business climate. Of the 400 adults polled, the majority – 51 percent – say they are worse off financially than they were one year ago.

· The survey also found that the majority – 54 percent – expect periods of widespread unemployment or depression over the next five years.

A previous survey in April by the Survey Research Center had found that 44 percent of North Carolinians felt that their finances were worse than a year ago and 49 percent expected periods of widespread unemployment or depression over the next five years.

“North Carolinians continue to be anxious about their own financial situation and somewhat pessimistic about the future,” says Dr. Sadie Leder, assistant director of the Survey Research Center. “These perceptions of their own finances and the economy as a whole do not appear to be improving, and may actually be worsening.”

Dr. Leder adds that an upcoming survey set to field next week will continue to track perceptions of the economy in the U.S. and North Carolina.

The survey was conducted Sept. 25-30, and responses came from 400 adults with landline telephones in North Carolina selected by a Random Digit Dial (RDD) method, giving the survey a margin of sampling error of approximately 5 percentage points.

Full results and methodological details from the survey and can be found at the Survey Research Center website, http://src.highpoint.edu/ , or from Dr. Martin Kifer, the center’s director, at mkifer@highpoint.edu or 336-841-9333.

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