2020 Continues: Unaffiliateds acting like Democrats, Socialism for the future, and Deacons edge Tar Heels on Biden

November 3, 2020

We continue with results and observations from the Carolina Partnership for Reform survey of 600 NC registered voters taken by Meeting Street Insights, October 24–27, 2020. (As is typical, the margin of error on this survey is +/-4%.)

One of the interesting observations across this survey was that registered Unaffiliated voters gave opinions that leaned more to Democrat positions on issue priorities than Republican positions. Unaffiliateds behave differently in different elections and tend to sway one direction or the other.  This year they had similar concerns as Democrats on issues including the coronavirus, healthcare and drugs, schools and teacher pay, and race relations.

In questions about the coronavirus, two out of three voters said they knew someone personally who had been infected with the virus. (65%)  This was twice as many people as in our last survey in May when 32% of voters knew someone infected.  This increase helps explain why the COVID-19 virus has continued to be a huge factor in the 2020 elections.

In another COVID-related question, we asked “Do you approve or disapprove or how Governor Cooper has handled the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina?  Though less than the May approval numbers of 76%-21%, Governor Cooper’s approval rating on COVID of 63%-35% explains how his overall approval ratings have stayed high.  Incidentally, his COVID approval number with Unaffiliateds is 62%-34%.

Concerning the Governor’s shutdown orders to stop the spread of COVID earlier this year, we asked voters whether the shutdown orders were Positive or Negative.  51% said Positive, with 43% saying Negative.  In the Positive camp were Democrats 65%-28%, Unaffiliateds at 57%-38% and African-Americans at 68%-28%  Those who said Negative were Republicans at 64%-20% and white men at 51%-43%.

We asked voters if they thought the worst of COVID was over or still to come, and sadly, most respondees (56%) said the worst was still to come compared to 33% who said the worst was over.  The only demographic group to think the worst was over was Republicans by a 59%-28% margin. The most pessimistic groups were Democrats (79%-13%), voters in the Raleigh-Durham media market (64%-29%), and seniors 65+ (63%-26%)  By the way – if you’re feeling a bit down because of COVID, these are not probably the best folks to hang around.

When asked about some political phrases and terminology that has cropped up in 2020, we asked whether you had a favorable or unfavorable reaction to them. Black Lives Matter came in at 51-40% favorable ; Defund the Police 65-25% unfavorable; and Socialism at 58-20% unfavorable.

Digging a little deeper, Biden voters were only 48-37% unfavorable on Defund the Police, and 38-32% on Socialism.  Trump voters were 80+% unfavorable on both.

In another look, white women ages 18-34 were 58%-35% Favorable to Defund the Police.  They were 46%-37% Favorable to Socialism.  Hmmm… these are the future mothers of North Carolina.

In another look at North Carolina Unaffilated voters, it is interesting that Joe Biden’s Favorable to Unfavorable rating in May was 35% Favorable to 52% Unfavorable — while now, Biden’s Favorable rating with Unaffiliateds is 50% and his Unfavorable rating has dropped to 42%.  That is a remarkable shift.

Finally – in an effort to lighten the intensity of the political atmosphere, we asked the voters “which North Carolina sports team do you tend to pull for when it comes to college sports?”

The University of North Carolina came out ahead (28%) over NC State (15%) and Duke (10%) – with Appalachian State (7%), East Carolina (6%), Wake Forest (5%), Western Carolina (3%) and Davidson (2%) rounding out the group.

We found out among the sports team backers that Biden leads for President 54-43% with Demon Deacon fans and 53-42% with Tar Heel fans.  On the other side of the spectrum, Trump was winning with Appalachian fans 58-37% and with ECU fans 41-33%.  So go have some fun with that one.  (And before State fans who are Trump fans start giving Tar Heels a hard time, Biden led with State fans 52-44%).

Overall, this was a very interesting poll with divergent opinions on various issues but with outcomes on many races that are within the margin of error.  We’ll see where North Carolina lands at the end of today (or maybe a few days later).  If you haven’t voted, exercise your Constitutional right to vote today.