RALEIGH – A new Civitas Poll of registered North Carolina voters sheds light on voters’ presidential preferences more than a year ahead of the actual polling.
These questions were asked of all 600 voters, regardless of their party affiliation. The questions were open-ended, without suggesting names to respondents.
On the Republican side, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush led with 14 percent, followed by businessman Donald Trump with 10 percent and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 6 percent. More than a dozen other announced or likely candidates registered in single digits. Thirty-four percent of voters responded “don’t know.”
Marco Ribio received 5% support, Mike Huckabee 4%, Ted Cruz 3%, and 2% for both Scott Walker and Chris Christie.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led Democrats with 33 percent, though she too trailed “don’t know,” which was the response of 37 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the choice of 11 percent, followed by other candidates in single digits.
“These results show that name recognition is the most powerful factor in voters’ preferences at this point,” said Civitas President Francis De Luca. “That explains why the favorites are Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump.”
Trump announced his candidacy the week before the Civitas Poll was taken.
If asked specifically if they would vote for Republican or Democrat candidate, 41% would vote for the Republican, 39% the Democrat, and 18% said they were undecided.
The poll surveyed 600 registered North Carolina voters has a margin of error of 4 percent.