News: Quick Takes

Incumbent Budd holds slim lead in 13th CD race, Civitas Poll finds

U.S. Reps. Richard Hudson, R-8th (left), and Ted Budd R-13th, at a May 2, 2018, roundtable to discuss human trafficking issues. (CJ photo by Kari Travis)
U.S. Reps. Richard Hudson, R-8th (left), and Ted Budd R-13th, at a May 2, 2018, roundtable to discuss human trafficking issues. (CJ photo by Kari Travis)

A new poll shows Republican incumbent Rep. Ted Budd leads his Democratic competitor, Kathy Manning, by five points in the race for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District seat.

The poll, conducted by the Civitas Institute, a conservative public policy organization, surveyed 537 likely voters from North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District. Participants were contacted between July 12-16 by landline or cell phone. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.7 percent.

Forty percent of likely voters said they would vote for Budd if the election were held today, compared to 35 percent who said Manning was their candidate of choice. Libertarian candidate Tom Bailey and Green Party candidate Robert Corrinher each received 3 percent of likely voter support. The remaining 19 percent were undecided.

Recent fundraising data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows Manning has raised more than Budd — with $1,932,258 raised so far for her campaign, compared to Budd’s $1,154,387. Manning has $1,345,353 on hand, while Budd has $778,943. The first-term congressman is one of 54 House Republicans outraised by Democratic challengers this past quarter.

This is Budd’s first re-election campaign.

The Cook Partisan Voting Index, which rates the partisan leanings of a district, labels the 13th District as a plus-6 Republican district.

“This district will continue to teeter on the edge of competitive, particularly with Democrat Kathy Manning currently holding a fundraising advantage,” said Civitas President Donald Bryson. “However, Congressman Budd clearly has a path to victory because his favorability is above water and a plurality of voters support his vote on tax reform.”

Similar to the previous Civitas Poll, the economy, health care, the presidency, and immigration remain top concerns among likely voters when considering how they would vote.

The federal tax reform law passed in December 2017 received 41 percent approval from likely voters, while 33 percent opposed it and 26 percent are unsure.

“It will be interesting to see how the issues affecting the economy and taxes are handled by the Manning campaign as tax reform appears popular, and unaffiliated voters were split between the economy and health care as their top issues of concern,” Bryson said.

Although President Trump won the district by nine points, 48 percent of likely voters disapprove of his job performance, compared to 44 percent who approve.