Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Low Knowledge about NC Candidates

Want some insight into why voters are so undecided about who they will vote for in the North Carolina Senate primary? Democrats don't know the most basic of facts about their candidates.

Only 47% of those likely to vote next week can identify Elaine Marshall as the candidate who's Secretary of State. Just 30% know that Cal Cunningham's the one who served in Iraq. And only 15% know that Kenneth Lewis is the one who's been endorsed by many of the state's most prominent black leaders.

Here are some key takeaways from these numbers:

-TV advertising matters, big time. In the Triangle and the Triad, where Cunningham had been running ads before the poll was taken, more than 40% of voters knew about his war service. That number plummeted to 11% in the mountains, where his ads were not running. That's quite a dramatic difference.

-Endorsements only do you any good if you have the resources to leverage them. Lewis has received some impressive ones but without the money to let any one know about them, they haven't done him much good. Free media will only get you so far. And most troubling for Lewis, among black voters more think that Marshall (16%) was endorsed by Mel Watt, Harvey Gantt, and Eva Clayton than believe Lewis (15%) was the beneficiary of those endorsements.

-This is a common finding in our polling and not at all surprising, but voters in the Triangle are much more tuned into the campaign and knowledgeable about the candidates than folks in any other part of the state. 64% there know Marshall's current position, compared to 47% statewide. 47% know about Cunningham's military service, to 30% statewide. And 27% know about Lewis' endorsements, to 15% statewide.

The candidates have been telling their stories for months now. But it still doesn't seem the voters have been listening.

Full results here


Christian Liberty said...

Ideally, we wouldn't have to know much about our political candidates... or care about them in the least. Ideally, our politicians would be so powerless as to be inconsequential to our own lives.

"My idea of a great president is one who acts in accordance with his oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Not since the presidency of Grover Cleveland has any president achieved greatness by this standard. Worse, the most admired have been those who failed most miserably." (Robert Higgs)

It is only because our politicians are so arrogant and insist on having so much arbitrary power over us that any of these things matter.

The best politicians would do NOTHING about healthcare or any other economic issue other than REPEAL existing government restrictions and mandates and subsidies... and enforce the few statutes that make sense fairly and evenly.

The free market does anything and everything better than government could ever hope to. It is the government that causes our economic problems and the free market that is always the solution. The best political platform is this: "My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." (Barry Goldwater)

It is merely because politicians in Washington and Raleigh and state capitals are so tyrannical that knowledge of them becomes important. But the political class has managed to make government so complicated that many feel they cannot understand it. But if you ask those same people what they want out of government, the answer would be very simple: LEAVE US ALONE. STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY. STOP TAXING US TO DEATH. STOP STEALING OUR LIBERTY. LEAVE US ALONE.

Anonymous said...

You know I think your bias toward Cal Cunningham is getting rediculous but that is what you get for letting a kid right out of college run a polling firm.

Tom Jensen said...

Haha I am personally undecided about who to vote for so accusing me of bias toward Cunningham is kind of comical. And I've been very successfully running this polling company for two and a half years now. Why don't you have the guts to post under your real name if you're going to personally attack me?

Anonymous said...

That is hilarious!! I don't see any indication, that Tom is bias towards Cal!! I am biased towards Cal Cunningham, because I think that he would be the BEST, for NC!!

If you people don't live here, then don't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

If your undecided about who to vote for then why did PPP donate money to Cal Cunningham. I find that just hilarious.

Tom Jensen said...

My boss gave money to Cunningham but that has nothing to do with me. He and I voted for different candidates in the Democratic primaries for both President and Governor in 2008 and we may well do so again this year.

Anonymous said...

I just have some advice for Tom Jensen now that I have his attention. Stop releasing details about your polls before you finish the surveys. Remember New Jersey where you thought Corzine was leading but a lot and then he turned out to be behind. I like your surveys and actually find then to be a gold standard for accuracy but I find it very unprofessional when you release details about a poll before there done. I also don't post under my real name because I don't want to recieve a buncho of spam e-mails. Sorry I don't have the patience for that aggrivation.

Ranjit said...


That is not true. Tom never hides is support for democrat candidates but when it comes to the polling numbers, you cannot get anyone more accurate than Tom.I have been checking this website for the last 2 years on a regular basis and Tom has always been right. There has been only one incident, where, PPP was way off. That would be NY special election. By the way, I am a conservative and always respect Tom's views.

Timothy Capwell said...

More evidence that democrat voters are uninformed lemmings. It explains all the straight ticket voting in 2008, right "Bev" Perdue?

Anonymous said...


I am a high information voter, and I vote democratic! I don't always vote a straight ticket, but I usually find the Democratic candidate, to seem more intelligent.

So, I beg to differ.

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