To: Interested Parties
From: Joshua Ulibarri and Celinda Lake
Re: Polling in the Charlotte, NC Democratic Primary
Date: June 24, 2015
A recent survey among likely Democratic primary voters in Charlotte, NC shows former Commissioner and Chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission, Jennifer Roberts leading the field of Democratic candidates. Roberts leads with 30% of the vote while her opponents trail further behind (29% are undecided). The lead is wide and extends across region, age, gender, and racial groups. Roberts’ lead is buttressed by her strong favorability and past job performance ratings. Simply, voters know her, they like her, and moreover, they intend to vote for her. If she has the funding needed to communicate her message to the likeliest of voters, she has the best chance to win the primary and become the next Charlotte Mayor.
These are the major findings:
Jennifer Roberts: 30%
Michael Barnes: 16%
Dan Clodfelter: 16%
David Howard: 9%
Roberts is well-liked and that favorability is both broad and deep. Overall, 76% of voters rate Roberts favorably, with 46% saying they have a very favorable opinion. Just 5% of voters rate her unfavorably (only 20% of voters have no opinion or have never heard of Roberts). Both African American (73% favorable) and white voters (83% favorable) have a favorable impression of Roberts, as do both women (79%) and men (71%).
Voters support the job Roberts did as Mecklenburg County Commissioner Chair. Overall, 72% of likely voters rate Roberts’ job performance as either excellent (31%) or good (41%), while only 16% rate her performance as either just fair or poor (12% of voters were unsure of Robert’s job performance). Similar to her personal favorable ratings, support for Roberts’ job performance is both broad and deep. Both women and men rate her past performance as either excellent/good (75% and 66%, respectively), as do African Americans and white voters (70% and 76%, respectively). Voters believe her performance as County Commission Chair reflects well on her potential as mayor and that weighs positively in her favor.
Roberts has a significant and measurable lead in the Democratic Primary. Given the above personal and professional ratings, it is not a surprise that Roberts holds a double-digit lead over her declared opponents. Roberts leads at 30%, followed by appointed Mayor Dan Clodfelter and City Councilman Michael Barnes (both 16%), while Councilman David Howard lingers further behind (9%). Roberts has more strong support (21%) than any other candidate has overall. Roberts leads with white and African American voters (40% and 26%, respectively), and with men and women (30% each). Her strength is further outlined when considering she is the second choice of 17% of the voters; meaning in total 47% of voters select her either first or second, an overall-18 points ahead of her next opponent (29% first or second choice for Michael Barnes and 27% for Clodfelter).
In summary, former County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts leads the Democratic Primary for Charlotte Mayor. Seven-in-ten voters like her personally and support the job she did on the Commission. She leads her closest opponents by 14 points and leads among every measurable demographic group. She is the favorite to win this primary, if she is able to communicate assertively with likely voters.