Chapel Hill Election Poll Results

The race to be Chapel Hill's next Mayor is too close to call. Matt Czajkowski leads Mark Kleinschmidt 45-44, a difference that suffice it to say is within the margin of error.

The key finding in the poll underscoring how divided the community is headed into election day is that 49% of voters think the town is headed in the right direction while 51% think it's off on the wrong track. That should make for closely contested races both for Mayor and Town Council.

Among voters happy with the current state of things Kleinschmidt leads 75-17. With those who would like a new direction Czajkowski has a 70-17 lead.

Both candidates are pretty well liked. 57% of voters have a favorable opinion of Kleinschmidt to 25% negative and for Czajkowski it's a positive 50/31 spread.

Kleinschmidt leads 58-34 with Democrats while Czajkowski is up 54-25 with independents and 79-13 with Republicans.

The race is also functioning to some extent as a referendum on Kevin Foy's time as Mayor. Kleinschmidt leads 73-20 with people who think Foy's doing a good job while Czajkowski is up 79-9 with people who think he's not. Foy leaves office with a pretty solid 50/31 approval spread, but the Town Council is less popular with 49% of voters expressing general disapproval of it to 40% giving it good marks.

There are inherent difficulties involved in polling Chapel Hill that could skew the results in one direction or another. There are many 'cell phone only' voters, particularly students, who would not be surveyed. Conventional wisdom would suggest those folks support Kleinschmidt because most students are Democrats and most Democrats support Kleinschmidt but there's no way to know that for sure. The poll also focused on people who have voted in local elections before, which would exclude people unhappy with the direction of the town coming out for the first time, which would be to Czajkowski's benefit. Hard to say how those factors do or don't offset each other but either way the race is almost definitely tight.

In the Council races Ed Harrison leads the way with 12% of the four way vote followed by Gene Pease at 11% and Laurin Easthom at 10%. Bunched very closely together for fourth place are Jon Dehart and Matt Pohlman at 9% and Penny Rich at 8%. Further back are Jim Merritt with 7% and Will Raymond with 3%. Voters were undecided about how they would distribute 30% of their Council votes, meaning that really anyone is in contention probably except Raymond.

It should be a close one, it's all going to come down to who can get their people out to the polls.

Full results here



I front paged this post as it's big news and important information for folks to see, but I have very mixed feelings about the introduction of polls into our local elections.  If anyone's going to do it I'm glad it's Tom, as he knows a lot more about local issues than most professional pollsters. Now I need to go take a shower or something.

It will be interesting to see how accurate this ends up being.  Does the release of this info even cause a campaign to push extra hard for turnout and change the results?  Do I reconsider my vote for Will because apparantly it is throw away? 

There looks like a lot of chance for these numbers to swing.

When was it contracted for and who wrote the survey questions? How many questions were asked? What was the sample size?

Tom said on another thread somewhere that PPP paid for it themselves. They seem to do that in a lot of races.

for obvious reasons.


We're all growed up and polling's a part of it. Actually, polling's been going on for some time. It's just that they're done for specific candidates and usually held pretty close to the vest. At least it's not a push poll. It'll be interesting to see how well PPP does. Chapel Hill is a hard one to figure. In the mayor's race, there's almost always a 20-25 percent protest vote. Even in an upbeat year a dog or a smelly mule would pull in somewhere close to 20. This is a bit of an anti-incumbent year, but turnout is going to be hard to predict. Anti-incumbent anger only fuels so many people to go to the polls. More often, it makes 'em stay home.In local elections the overwhelming number of voters are habitual, lifelong voters and most of the rest are voting for someone they know.  

The poll will be more useful for the issues related stuff on it about growth, downtown, etc. that I'll be releasing over the next week or two.  Folks were a lot more 'decided' about that stuff than who they were going to vote for Council.

I loved those questions. 

Tom,I was several minutes into the call when it clicked off.  On the other thread, Jose said the same thing happened to him - it sounded like we both were disconnected at about the same point in the poll.  I was obviously frustrated to have spent the time answering questions for naught.  And I felt like my privacy was violated to not make it to the end to find out who was asking these questions.  Is there anything I could have done to reconnect?  Was it just random that Jose and I both were cut off, or is that a normal event that you adjust the results for?   Also, is there any privacy protection of the individual responses?  I know I could have hung up at any time, but I'm a sucker for these things.  I'm wondering if in the future I might want to not participate in surveys if there are no regulations or ethical standards that prevent my personal responses from being known.   I guess I haven't thought about these issues much before now.

I wandered over to the State Board of Elections website -- they have a file on all absentee voting (including early voting). They do not have corporate limits in the state database, but they do have county, mailing address city, and party, so I sorted by those and came up with the following numbers -- I ignored Chatham Chapel Hill addresses but did include Durham. The number obviously covers areas in the Chapel Hill school district outside CH city limits and include some Carrboro voters with Chapel Hill mailing addresses, but I think it is a good proxy for Chapel Hill voters by percentage if not by exact numbers:D      1176  59.48%L           2    0.10%R       267  13.51%U      532   26.91% TOTAL  1977 

For our registered voters as of 23 Sep (didn't include Durham and can't partition out the Patterson precinct) it is:D = 52.00%L = 0.20%R =15.86%U = 31.93%


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