Meredith Polling doing everything possible to deliver accurate representations

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – One of the biggest political beatings in 2016?  

The polls.

We all remember how wrong so many of them got it.

“In 2016, some polling organizations just really did not get that rural, older voter that came out in larger numbers than they expected. If you’re off by a percentage or two of a certain group your poll could be very inaccurate,” said the Director of the Meredith Poll professor David McLennan.

The poll he oversees at Meredith College in Raleigh did however tend to be very close to how North Carolina voted that year.

“So what we’re doing is part science and part educated guess as to how many rural versus urban respondents do we get, how many responses of color versus white do we get. How many of those with high education and low education? The reason we’ll keep doing this through election day is the closer we get to election day the more confident we’re going to get about who’s going to vote,” he said.  

With Meredith’s newly released poll that covers elections and social issues, McLennan said he and his students do everything possible to make sure they have a true representation of the state’s voters.  

To do that, they use the old fashion landline and cell phones.

But, since so many people don’t answer their phones anymore, including younger voters, they also use online polling.  

McLennan said the latest poll has a number of unexpected results.

Ninety percent of those polled are familiar with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump and 48.8 percent support the inquiry.  

“Which really surprised us because we’ve lived in this partisan world which Democrats favor one thing and Republicans favor something different.  But, we saw that the numbers really reflected more of a bipartisan support for the impeachment inquiry than we imagined,” said McLennan.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) holds a significant lead against Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) in the race for governor.

A total of 45.5 percent say they’ll vote for Cooper and 32.9 percent for Forest while 9.4 percent say someone else and 12.1 percent don’t know.

The poll also shows a real battle for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.

Less than a point separates him and Democrat challengers Cal Cunningham and Erica Smith.

“I think the major takeaway is that North Carolina is going to continue to be a battleground state and is going to be very influential in terms of who controls the White House and Congress. We might see an election result like we did in 2016 where one party wins one office and another party wins another major office,” said McLennan.  

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