Etheridge Grabs Student, Ellmers Grabs Lead

Raleigh, N.C. – With a widely publicized video of a confrontation with two students on a Washington, DC sidewalk circulating, incumbent Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge now trails Republican challenger Renee Ellmers according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute

According to the poll of 400 registered voters in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional district, Ellmers leads Etheridge 39 percent to 38 percent. Twelve percent said they would vote for Libertarian Tom Rose and 11 percent said they were undecided.

Etheridge has been in elected office since 1973 and has served in Congress since 1996. With his long career in office the voters know him well, however the recent video has damaged his standing among voters. Of those polled, 40 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Etheridge. While only 25 percent view him favorably. Thirty-three percent said they had no opinion or were neutral. Thus, Etheridge has a net -17 favorability rating when subtracting his favorability rating from his unfavorable rating.

Ellmers, a medical clinic director from Dunn, is relatively unknown to voters. She is seen favorably by 17 percent of voters and unfavorably by 11 percent. The remaining 71 percent said they are neutral or had no opinion, for a net +6 favorability rating.

“With the mood of the voters in the second district, this was always going to be a tough race for Etheridge. However, the video confrontation has vastly complicated his efforts and has now put him in the national spotlight,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “Even prior to the video, Etheridge’s votes on the bailout, health care and Cap and Trade were hurting him with voters.”

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