October 30, 2009

Elon Poll: Uphill climb for Sen. Richard Burr in re-election campaign

With just over a year to go before the 2010 midterm elections, 19 percent of North Carolina residents believe Sen. Richard Burr deserves another term in office, while more than double that amount – 42 percent – feel it’s time for a new person to have a chance, according to the latest Elon University Poll.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they “don’t know” if he deserves re-election.

The poll, conducted Oct. 26-29, surveyed 703 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general, with numbers that include both landlines and cellular phones.

Burr’s approval rating stands at 37 percent, the poll found, while 22 percent of respondents disapprove of the way he is handling his job. Forty-one percent don’t know how they feel on his job performance.

The Republican from Winston-Salem was first elected to the Senate in 2004 to fill a seat vacated by Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards.

North Carolinians were also asked to evaluate the job other elected officials are doing:

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan: 35 percent approve, 35 percent disapprove, 29 percent don’t know
Gov. Beverly Perdue: 36 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove, 18 percent don’t know

On the national scene, more North Carolinians approve (53%) than disapprove (44%) of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. Fifty percent of respondents disapprove of his handling of the economy, while 43 percent approve of his efforts.

When poll respondents were asked how much Congress will be able to accomplish in the next year, they indicated the following:

Nothing at all: 9 percent
Not too much: 28 percent
Some: 43 percent
A good amount: 10 percent
A great deal: 6 percent

“Citizens appear agitated with the perceived lack of progress that Congress, the president, and their senators have made in addressing their main concern — the economy,” said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll. “It will be interesting to see just how long their patience with this administration and Congress will last.”

Overall, North Carolinians are divided on the war in Afghanistan:

On the way President Obama is handling the war in Afghanistan: 43 percent disapprove, 42 percent approve
On sending more troops to Afghanistan: 46 oppose, 43 percent support
On whether the war with Afghanistan is worth fighting: 48 percent say the war is worth fighting, 44 percent say it is not worth it

For demographic information on the most recent poll results, visit www.elon.edu/elonpoll.