The latest ECU Poll of the U.S. Senate election in North Carolina, conducted October 10-13, shows Republican Ted Budd leading Democrat Cheri Beasley 50% to 44% among likely voters, with just 5% of the poll respondents reporting they are undecided (and the remainder expressing support for some other candidate). Budd’s lead has widened since a previous ECU Poll in early September, when he led Beasley by 3 percentage points.
Budd’s most notable gains have come from women. Beasley currently leads Budd 48% to 46% among women; however, Beasley led 52% to 41% among likely female voters in early September. Budd still holds a significant advantage among men, 54% to 39%.
Among working class white voters (defined as those without a 4-year college degree), Budd leads by 50 percentage points (72% to 22%) over Beasley. Budd holds a much narrower advantage over Beasley, 51% to 44%, among white voters with a four-year college degree or higher. Among likely African American voters, Beasley holds almost an 8 to 1 advantage (83% to 11%) over Budd.
Senior voters (age 65 and over) support Budd over Beasley by a 58% to 37% margin. Beasley, however, holds a 48% to 42% advantage among voters under the age of 40. For those between the ages of 40 and 64, Budd leads 50% to 44% over Beasley.
Regionally, Budd’s advantage over Beasley is strongest in the western part of the state (58% to 35%) and in the eastern part of the state (54% to 36%). Budd leads in the Piedmont/Central region is (52% to 39%), while Beasley holds a lead in the Raleigh/Durham area (55% to 40%) as well as the Charlotte area (52% to 45%).
In addition to the Senate race, respondents were asked how they plan to vote in their U.S. congressional district races. The poll’s results show that 49% of likely voters say they intend to vote for the Republican candidate and 44% say they will vote for the Democratic candidate. The 5-point Republican advantage in North Carolina is higher than the national average, which currently shows a 2-point Republican advantage.
The improved electoral environment for Republicans in North Carolina since September also tracks with declines in job approval ratings statewide for President Joe Biden. Among likely voters in North Carolina, President Biden’s job approval stands at 38%, down from early September when Biden’s approval stood at 44%.
In assessing the full results of the poll, Dr. Peter Francia, Director of the ECU Center for Survey Research, remarked, “Although it is still competitive, Ted Budd is the favorite to win North Carolina’s U.S. Senate election based on our latest poll numbers.”
This poll was conducted October 10-13, 2022. The sample consisted of 902 likely voters in North Carolina, with a Credibility Interval (CI), similar to a poll’s margin of error, of +/- 3.8 percentage points. The data for the poll were drawn from a cellphone sample of SMS-to-web (N=402) provided by Consensus Strategies, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=300), and an online panel provided by Bovitz (N=200). To ensure the sample was representative of the midterm electorate, the data were weighted by gender, age, education, race, region, and election modeling based on previous statewide elections in North Carolina.