Polling suggests Presnell is unpopular

Jan 29, 2014

Recent information released by Public Policy Polling shows N.C. Rep. Michele Presnell, who represents portions of Haywood, Yancey and Madison counties, will face an uphill battle if she decides to seek re-election.

The poll surveyed voters in five key state House Republican districts and found all had negative voter approval ratings. Of the five, Presnell’s ratings indicated she was in the worst shape.

“Twice as many voters (40 percent) disapprove of her job performance as (20 percent) approve,” the PPP document states. “Legislative Republicans face 55 percent disapproval compared to only 33 percent approval and Pat McCrory has a staggering 59 percent disapproval compared to only 28 percent approval. These numbers mean the Republican legislature and Governor McCrory are more unpopular with her (Presnell’s) constituents than they are in any of the other districts. She’s only polling at 40 percent for reelection against a generic Democratic opponent to begin with, and 68 percent say her vote to cut public education makes it less likely that they’ll cast a ballot for her this fall.”

PPP conducted all five polls on behalf of the North Carolina Democratic House

Caucus on Jan. 22  and 23. In Presnell’s HD 119 district, 982 voters were interviewed with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent.


Overall, the poll found all five Republican incumbents had four things in common:

1) Every Republican incumbent has a negative approval rating, and all have reelect

numbers well below 50 percent against a generic Democratic opponent.

2) Pat McCrory, who won all of these districts overwhelmingly in 2012 is now quite

unpopular in each of them. That means the Governor is now a drag on the ticket

heading into the 2014 cycle for the very Republicans who were elected on his

coattails in 2012.

3) House Republicans as a whole are very unpopular in each district.

4) The GOP representatives are extremely vulnerable to messaging about their votes

that resulted in cuts to public education.

“What the polls show is that the landscape has shifted dramatically since the 2012

legislative elections. There’s still a great deal of anger toward Republicans in the North

Carolina House about the actions they took during last year’s legislative session; this

polling suggests that, if strong Democratic candidates run in these districts, they’ll have a

good chance at winning this fall,” the document stated.

Other districts polled with Republicans incumbents included HD 8 — Rep. Susan Martin, Pitt and Wilson counties; HD 9 — Rep. Brian Brown, Pitt County; HD 36 — Rep. Nelson Dollar, Wake County and  HD 45 - Rep. John Szoka, Cumberland County.



Comments (11)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jan 29, 2014 08:48

Thank you, Mountaineer, for at least qualifying the poll: "PPP conducted all five polls on behalf of the North Carolina Democratic House."  So take that for what it's worth.  (A page-10 story)


I'm quite certain that Republicans will do just fine in the next elections.  And I'm sure some republican-leaning organization can do a poll to "prove it" as well.  The question is: when some Republican-leaning poll company finds that result, will the Mountaineer publish those results as prominently as this article?  The voting public won't forget what has happened to their healthcare and insurance costs and how their doctor may be taken away from them.


Rep. Michele Presnell is Haywood County's duly elected representative.  Wouldn't the area be best served if our officials were empowered to govern well?  Why would a local paper try to take away her support by trying to influence the public by promoting a slanted poll?

Posted by: Katherine Bartel | Jan 29, 2014 09:43

After the way that Republicans have stripped our public schools, demoted our teachers, refused health care to those who need it, given tax cuts only to the wealthy at the expense of the struggling middle class, cut unemployment benefits, cut medicaid, cut pre-K openings in a program that works, suppressed voting in many ways, allowed fracking, undermined environmental protection, and outlawed Sharia Law (really??), they have earned this poll result.

Posted by: Ron Rookstool | Jan 29, 2014 09:56

Unfortunately with the redistricting and BIG money supporting these Republicans, they will again BUY the vote. Too many voters vote for the party, and have no idea of what the real issues are.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jan 29, 2014 10:57

      PPP is not afiliated with any party whatsoever. PPP does polling for whoever feels a need to hire them. In fact there are several reccommendations of them:


\Public Policy Polling was profiled by NPR as “one of the most prolific polling outfits in the country.” Read more...

The Wall Street Journal ranked PPP as one of the top swing state pollsters in the country during the last Presidential election.

         Why anyone would automaticlly assume PPP is somehow biased in their polling is troubling to say the least. Most certainly PPP can be hired by the right-wing ill-liberal oppressors who occupy OUR State government, if they choose.



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jan 29, 2014 12:34



"the firm Public Policy Polling shows results that are about three percentage points more favorable to Mr. Obama than the consensus of surveys."


"PPP is described as a "Democratic-leaning" polling company because it polls only for Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations on a private basis."

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jan 29, 2014 12:38

Mr. Rookstool:


Speaking of "buying votes", when Democrats promise to take from the rich and give to the poor, is that considered "buying votes"?  When Obamacare "subsidizes" healthcare is that "buying votes"?  When food stamp recipients increase dramatically, is that "buying votes"?  What exactly do Republicans do that "buy votes"?

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jan 29, 2014 12:44

"Too many voters vote for the party, and have no idea of what the real issues are." - Amen to that!  Democrats and Republicans ought to be arguing if a Democracy or Republic solution is more appropriate to a problem.  They argue over things that have very little to do with that.

Posted by: Katherine Bartel | Jan 29, 2014 14:59

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36

If Jesus needed health care, or food, or a just trial, would he get one in North Carolina?

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jan 29, 2014 17:20

Ms. Bartel, a nice reminder of how to be a good Christian.  And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."  (Mark 12:16)  Be sure to differentiate what is to be paid to Caesar (Government) and what is to be paid to your fellow believer.  The distinction was made for good reason.  As well, Jesus was a carpenter.  He worked and lived a respectable life.  Yes, in NC it is common for someone living a respectable life and working in a trade to live graciously.  And I'm fairly certain in NC he wouldn't end up nailed to a cross!  Republicans and Democrats of all persuasions should agree to that!

Posted by: Lee Galloway | Jan 30, 2014 08:25

No surprise here!  Elected officials who run roughshod over the will and desires of the people they are supposed to represent are not often held in high esteem by their constituents.  The question will be whether the voters remember the actions of Rep. Presnell and her legislative partners in the ill treatment of education, teachers, the poor and others, when the elections come in November.  Change will not come unless the people do remember and elect new officials to the General Assembly who will be for the people and what is good for our region and state.

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jan 30, 2014 09:15

Hold on now... "Elected officials who run roughshod over the will and desires of the people"...  That is not fact -- but opinion.  I haven't seen a single voice given to the hotel/motel/rental home owners on the matter of the increased hotel/motel tax proposed.  There is no poll that shows what the "will and desires of the people" is!  There is one-sided reporting going on here that is all on the side of the government officials.  Go do a poll for all the hotel/motel/rental home people and find out if the tax to which Rep. Presnell objects is against the will of the hotel/motel owners.


THIS, my friends, is the way a public debate SHOULD be structured.  A Republic will protect everyone (even a minority) equally.  A Democracy will govern by a simple majority.  There are fewer hotel owners than everyone else.  So a Democratic strategy would be to use a majority of "the people" to impose a new tax on the few hotel owners.  A Republican strategy would be to only consider a tax if EVERYONE has the same burden.  Forget all the other noise.. we should expect our Republican and Democrat leaders to debate the issue in those terms.

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