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For immediate release.
Jul. 17, 2003
Contact: Jesse Rutledge, N.C. Center for Voter Education, 877-258-6837 (toll free)
Survey Finds N.C. Voters Back Bush ... But Not By Expected Margin
RALEIGH - A recent statewide poll conducted by the NC Center for Voter Education asked whether likely voters across the state would vote to re-elect President George Bush or whether they think it is time for a change in the Oval Office.
The survey found that 52 percent of North Carolinians said they were likely to vote for Bush's re-election, while 32 percent said they wanted a change. The rest said they were undecided or did not respond.*
"It's good news for Republicans in that the majority of North Carolinians want to re-elect the President," said Chris Heagarty, executive director of the N.C. Center for Voter Education. "It's good news for the Democrats in that it's not the overwhelming mandate that many had expected for the President."
As past surveys have reflected across both the state and the nation, male voters remain more steadfast supporters of the President. The Center’s survey revealed that President Bush received the support of 56 percent of men versus 49 percent of women. On the other hand, women backed a change 35 percent of the time, versus 29 percent of men who said they wanted a change.
The Center’s findings make for interesting comparisons to some other recent surveys of national attitudes. For instance, North Carolinians appear more likely than the rest of the country to back the president’s re-election. A recent national survey by Newsweek magazine found that only 47% of voters nationwide would like to see the president re-elected to another term, while 46% would not.**
However, a separate survey conducted for the Pew Center for the People and the Press recently found that 66% of voters nationwide think that President Bush will win reelection compared to 22% who think that the Democratic nominee will win the White House in November 2004.***
"Looking at the national numbers, it's interesting to note that among those who want a change there is a perceived pessimism that is not grounded in reality," observed Heagarty. "But in politics, perception often is reality, and this pessimism could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
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* The Center for Voter Education asked 1,268 North Carolina likely voters: “Thinking about next year’s elections, do you think you would vote to re-elect President George W. Bush or do you think it’s time for a change?” Conducted June 17-19, 2003, margin of error about 3 percent. Responses: Strongly for Bush 43.9%; Leaning Toward Bush 8.4%; Strongly for Change 24.6%; Leaning Toward a Change 7.6%; Undecided/Don’t Know 15.5%.
** Newsweek asked 837 voters nationwide: "In general, would you like to see George W. Bush reelected to another term as president, or not?" Conducted July 10-11, 2003, margin of error 4 percent.
*** Pew asked 1,000 adults nationwide: “Who will win the presidential election?” Conducted June 4-8, 2003, margin of error of 3.5 percent.