Polls proved mostly on the mark in North Carolina US Senate race

U.S. Senate candidates Cheri Beasley (D) and Ted Budd (R) are shown in this combination photo.

RALEIGH — Throughout the last month of the 2022 election, most pollsters surveying the race between Republican Ted Budd and Democrat Cheri Beasley showed a close race but a stable lead for Budd. That’s how the race ended up, with final results showing a nearly four-point edge for the three-term U.S. Rep. Budd, who will now move to the U.S. Senate.

According to RealClearPolitics, which aggregates public polling across the country, there were 10 polls of the race from early October through the weekend before Nov. 8’s election.


Trafalgar Group and East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research polled the race twice in the final month, both accurately showing the lead Budd would ultimately win the race by.

Dr. Peter Francia, the director of ECU’s Center for Survey Research, said on Nov. 5, “Ted Budd’s campaign, and the Republican Party as a whole, have succeeded in mobilizing support from likely voters around the issues of the economy and inflation, which works against the party that currently holds the White House. What we are seeing in North Carolina can be seen across the country: The Republicans are heading into the 2022 midterm elections with a significant advantage.”

The ECU polling operation also had a good night in neighboring Georgia. Their final polls showed a 49%-49% U.S. Senate race, which matched the final results in that state and head to a runoff on Dec. 6., and six-point lead for Gov. Brian Kemp, who defeated Stacey Abrams by that same margin.

Others NC polls that aligned with the final results included October surveys from Emerson College and Marist.

The WRAL-Survey USA polls in the race widely overestimated support for Beasley. In their last poll of the race in October, it showed Budd with just a one point edge over Beasley.

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected].