In the first poll to include all three candidates for North Carolina governor the Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe was the choice of 7 percent of the respondents, greater than the margin between the major party candidates.
This was a significant change from a previous poll which showed Republican Pat McCrory 10 points ahead of Democrat Walter Dalton, but did not include the Libertarian. The Civitas Institute conducted the poll June 29-July 1. McCrory led Dalton by the slim margin of 46 to 44 percent.
“While I, of course, would prefer to be polling at 50 percent or greater because I’m certain my small government philosophy is the best choice for the people of North Carolina, I am very happy just to be included,” said Howe. “Pollsters frequently ignore our Libertarian candidates. I look forward to building on the 7 percent number.”
The outcome of the election is important to the Libertarian Party in another way. The Libertarian candidate for governor or president must get two percent of the vote in order for the party to keep its ballot access.
“Although the polls differ somewhat in format, the data suggests that a significant portion of McCrory’s support shifted to Howe when given the chance,” Civitas President Francis X. De Luca said. “To win those votes in November, McCrory likely will have to persuade libertarian-minded voters that he too wants to and can rein in out-of-control government.”
Full text of question:
North Carolina will also elect a Governor. If the election for Governor were today, would you vote for Republican Pat McCrory? Democrat Walter Dalton? Or Libertarian Barbara Howe?
Pat McCrory (R) – 46%
Walter Dalton (D) – 44%
Barbara Howe (L) – 7%
Undecided – 3%