Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Civitas' gubernatorial polling experiment

Today's Civitas Poll (PDF) provided us with an interesting issue experiment in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Here are 4 questions they asked (not exact wording) in this order:

If the election for governor were held today, which of the following Democrats would you support?

Moore 25%
Perdue 34%

Are you more or less likely to vote for Richard Moore if you knew he has accepted over $700,000 in contributions from those helping him manage the retirement system?

More 8%
Less 53%
No difference 20%

If you knew he has changed the investment program in the state retirement system and increased income by $4.2 billion?

More 50%
Less 16%
No difference 16%

Now that you know more, if the election for governor were held today, which of the following Democrats would you most likely support?

Moore 31%
Perdue 28%

So after explaining the recent controversy over Moore's fundraising tactics and then his response, his numbers actually went up. Jack Hawke of the Civitas Institute's explanation was that the response trumped the initial charge-- a credit to Moore and his campaign.

In our last tracking poll, a week after the story broke about Moore's fundraising, he actually gained 5 percentage points on Perdue.

I think it's safe to say that the Moore controversy did not negatively impact his campaign. Not enough people are paying attention right now (14 months from Primary Day) for this to matter, and Moore had a decent response up his sleeve anyhow.

Moore probably should be glad that Forbes Magazine broke the story now. If Forbes didn't, then some creative reporter from a NC newspaper or the Perdue campaign would've put the story together. And it would have caused more damage to Moore next Spring when voters will be paying attention.


Will Cubbison said...

did they seperate Republicans from Democrats in their poll? The results page makes it looks like everyone was asked the same question.

Justin Guillory said...

Yes they did separate. So the Democratic primary questions were asked only of Democrats. I'm not sure what they did with Unaffiliated voters.

Note, that also increases the margin of error on those questions. Probably +/- 6%.

Unknown said...

In the latest PPP poll, undecideds led both Moore, Perdue, and Faison. Has that been the case in previous PPP polling?

Justin Guillory said...

Our last tracking poll taken the first week of March found this:

Moore 24%
Perdue 34%
Faison 4%
Undecided 37%

So yes, undecideds are in the lead.

Mark Hufford said...

Interesting stuff, Justin.

Of course my mind gets to wondering why the supposedly nonpartisan, nonprofit Civitas Institute would be asking question number 2.

Surely it wouldn't be to find out whether, in the event that Moore wins the primary, push-polling with that question could sway voters.

Because, as I said, the Civitas Institute is nonpartisan and as I recall, operates as a tax-exempt nonprofit. Surely they wouldn't ever consider push-polling or encouraging others to do so.

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