News: Quick Takes

Coleman barely edging incumbent Holding in 2nd CD, Civitas Poll says

Linda Coleman, Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District, pictured here at a 2016 debate. (CJ file photo)
Linda Coleman, Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District, pictured here at a 2016 debate. (CJ file photo)

The Civitas Institute has released a new poll showing incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. George Holding and Democratic challenger Linda Coleman neck-in-neck in a race for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District seat.

SurveyUSA conducted the poll on behalf of the conservative public policy organization between Sept. 5 and Sept. 8. The poll surveyed 538 likely voters from the 2nd Congressional District. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Coleman held three terms as a state representative and was the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in 2012 and 2016. She lost twice to Republican Dan Forest, the first time by around 7,000 votes out of more than 4 million cast. Holding represented the 13th Congressional District from 2013 to 2017 and then moved to the 2nd District when the congressional maps were redrawn for the 2016 election.

Coleman beats Holding by a razor-thin margin, within the poll’s margin of error. While 44 percent of likely voters said they would choose Coleman, 43 percent said they would vote for Holding. Only 2 percent picked Jeff Matemu, the Libertarian candidate. Ten percent of likely voters were undecided.

A plurality of those sampled view Holding and Coleman favorability. The two candidates both enjoy 41 percent favorability ratings. Holding has an unfavorable rating of 29 percent, Coleman 25 percent.

“This poll corroborates internal polls released by the Holding and Coleman campaigns, regarding just how close this race is,” said Civitas President Donald Bryson.

The Cook Political Report, which measures the partisan makeup of districts, recently switched the 2nd Congressional District from likely Republican to leaning Republican.

“It is difficult to say whether or not this race will continue to be close. Coleman and Holding are both ‘above water’ in favorability; however, federal tax reform has healthy support in a district where the economy is a top concern for voters,” Bryson said.

Forty-one percent of likely voters said they approve of the federal tax reform law, compared to 36 percent who oppose it. Jobs and the economy topped the list of voter concerns with 29 percent saying it’s the most important issue to them.

“That could be an advantage for Holding as we inch towards November,” Bryson said.