Elon University Poll finds 61 percent confidence level for Robin Hayes in N.C. 8th U.S. House District race

A new Elon University Poll conducted in North Carolina’s 8th U.S. House District shows 61 percent of citizens have some confidence or a lot of confidence in Republican Rep. Robin Hayes, who is running against Democratic challenger Larry Kissell in the Nov. 7 election.

The poll, conducted October 22-26 by the Elon University Institute for Politics and Public Affairs, surveyed 410 residents in North Carolina’s 8th U.S. House District. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.93 percent. The sample is of the population in general and does not restrict respondents by their voter eligibility or their likelihood of voting in the election.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said their confidence in Hayes has remained the same, while 19 percent said it had decreased and 7 percent said it had increased.

Respondents were asked if they would approve or disapprove of Kissell as their representative in Congress. Twenty-six percent said they would approve or strongly approve of Kissell, while 25 percent said they would disapprove or strongly disapprove. Forty-nine percent said they did not know.

The survey also asked citizens in the 8th District whether they would support the Democratic candidate or Republican candidate in the upcoming election. Forty-one percent said they will support the Democratic candidate and 33 percent said they will support the Republican candidate, within the poll’s margin of error. Twenty-one percent were undecided.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said it is time to give new people a chance to serve in Congress. Thirty-eight percent said Hayes has performed well enough to deserve re-election.

Seventy percent said the country has gotten off on the wrong track, while 21 percent believe the country is going in the right direction.

“There are definitely mixed signals coming from people in the 8th District,” said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll. “These results offer no clear indication what may happen in next week’s election. The definitive questions remain within the margin of error, so there really is no clear favorite in the 8th District. The one thing we can be certain of from these findings is that people in the 8th District think the country is faring poorly overall.”

Citizens were asked which issues will influence their vote in next week’s Congressional election. Eighty-one percent said the situation in Iraq will influence their vote, followed by health care costs (78 percent), the economy (78 percent), terrorism (75 percent), family values (75 percent), immigration (73 percent), taxes (72 percent), political corruption (66 percent) and gas prices (58 percent).

Respondents said Republicans would do a better job of handling terrorism, immigration and family values, while Democrats would better handle gas prices, health care costs, political corruption, Iraq, taxes and the economy.

“While the people of the 8th District like the job Hayes has done, they also expressed their dissatisfaction with Republicans in Congress,” said Bacot. “As a Republican, Hayes could suffer due to the national mood against incumbents and the continued dissatisfaction with the current Congress and administration.”

The Elon University Poll has conducted several polls annually since 2000. The non-partisan Elon University Poll conducts frequent scientific telephone polls on issues of importance citizens. The poll results are shared with media, citizens and researchers to facilitate representative democracy and public policy making through the better understanding of the opinions and needs of citizens in the state and region.