Under the Dome

Civitas poll leaves out Republican insurance commissioner candidate

Joe McLaughlin
Joe McLaughlin

The conservative Civitas Institute recently asked likely GOP primary voters to pick among two Republicans running for insurance commissioner.

The only problem? There are actually three Republican candidates competing in the March 15 primary. The Civitas poll left out Joe McLaughlin, a former Onslow County commissioner who’s seeking the post. His background makes him the most high-profile of the three contenders.

Civitas spokeswoman Demi Dowdy said that McLaughlin got left out because he launched his campaign on the final day of the election filing period.

“The next poll we do in the next couple of weeks, we will include all the people who filed in the last day of filing,” she said.

While he also filed on the last day, U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon was included in the Civitas poll released Friday.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the poll was jacked up, I feel good about my prospects when the poll is run again,” he said, pointing to the high percentage of undecided voters.

Civitas found that 80 percent said they were undecided, while 10 percent supported Mike Causey and 6 percent backed Ron Pierce.

In order statewide Republican primary races, the Civitas poll gave incumbent Richard Burr a major advantage in the U.S. Senate primary, with 45 percent. Brannon got 7 percent, Paul Wright got 3 percent and Larry Holmquist had just 1 percent.

Gov. Pat McCrory had an even bigger lead in the poll for his primary, with 63 percent support compared to Robert Brawley’s 8 percent. Long-shot candidate Charles Moss wasn’t included in the poll.

Civitas found Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill leading state Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson in the attorney general primary. O’Neill had 16 percent to Newton’s 5 percent.

The Secretary of State primary poll shows a dead heat between A.J. Daoud and Michael LaPaglia, who got 7 percent and 6 percent support respectively. About 85 percent were undecided on the race.

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