Political Notebook: A handful of absentee by mail ballots cast, accepted after 140 total requests

Published 8:14 pm Monday, April 11, 2022

SALISBURY — Approximately 140 Rowan County voters have requested absentee by mail ballots for the 2022 primary election as of Monday, according to Rowan County Board of Elections Director Brenda McCubbins.

McCubbins said of those, only nine have returned to the board, and all have been accepted. There are no pending cure or incomplete ballots.

As of March, Rowan County has a total of 96,400 voters, with 41,102 of those registered as Republicans, 23,910 as Democrats and 30,811 as unaffiliated. In the primary election, unaffiliated voters can select which ballot they’d like to cast their votes.

To vote in the primary, voters must register no later than April 22. To request an absentee by mail ballot, visit the Rowan County Board of Elections office at 1935 Jake Alexander Boulevard West or visit votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home. Absentee by mail ballot requests must be made no later than May 10. The primary election is May 17, and early voting will span from April 28 to May 14.

Recent polls show Rep. Ted Budd leading Republican candidates in primary Senate race

With just over a month left before the May 17 primary, the season of candidate polls has arrived.

A recent series of polls showed Rep. Ted Budd is faring better than fellow Republican frontrunner candidates Pat McCrory and Mark Walker in the 2022 primary election for U.S. Senate.

A new poll from CBS 17, The Hill and Emerson College showed Budd at 38% of support among 508 likely GOP voters, while McCrory was at 22%. Walker came in at a distant third at 9%, with 23% of likely primary voters still undecided.

The poll also showed Budd and McCrory evenly split with 33% of support among suburban voters, while Budd takes the lead among rural voters at 42% to McCrory’s 11%.

Budd’s campaign is also backed by former President Donald Trump, who made an early endorsement last summer and rallied in Salem with Budd and Congressional candidate Bo Hines last week. The Hill and Emerson College poll showed nearly 60% of Republican primary voters say Trump’s endorsement makes them more likely to vote for a candidate.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson was also present at the rally and threw his support behind Budd.

That poll also included a general election sample among 1,047 likely primary voters and tested a few hypothetical general election matchups against presumed Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, the former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice. It showed Budd and Walker with leads over Beasley, with Budd at 50% to Beasley’s 43% and Walker at 47% to Beasley’s 42%. By contrast, McCrory trailed Beasley 43% to 41%, with 17% undecided. Beasley was tied with Republican candidate Marjorie Eastman at 44%.

A poll conducted by Spry Strategies showed Budd at 47% of support and McCrory at 15%, while Walker was at 9% and Eastman was at 2%. FiveThirtyEight ranks Spry Strategies with a letter grade of B/C.

Club for Growth PAC, which has boosted Budd’s campaign with millions, showed Budd at 44%, McCrory at 31%, Walker at 11% and Eastman at 3%. About 11% were undecided. Club for Growth’s poll was taken among 510 likely Republican primary voters in North Carolina with a margin of error of 4.4% at a 95% confidence level.

In reference to the poll, Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh said voters recognize McCrory as an “anti-Trump (Republican In Name Only)” and that he spent his “entire career siding with liberals.”

A new Cygnal poll showed Republicans with a 6-point lead in the general election among 513 likely general election voters, with a margin of error of 4.3%. The poll included hypothetical matchups between Budd and Beasley and McCrory and Beasley. Budd edged McCrory with a 1.5-point lead over Beasley, while the margin was much slimmer between McCrory’s 41% and Beasley 40.7%. Both of those head-to-head matchups are within the margin of error.

FiveThirtyEight grades Cygnal polls with a B+.

A Civitas poll from the conservative John Locke Foundation taken among 600 likely voters in the Republican primary showed 32% for Budd, 21% for McCrory, 7% for Walker and no other candidates topping 1%. Almost 40% of voters say they remain undecided. Almost half of those same voters indicated securing the border and preventing illegal immigration were the top issues for the Senate race, followed by lowering the cost of living and inflation (37%) and election integrity (23%).

The poll showed more than 82% of voters remain undecided on other statewide races on the Republican primary ballot, such as N.C. Supreme Court.

The Civitas poll had a margin of error of nearly 4%.

A WRAL poll released Monday among 593 likely GOP voters showed Budd with 33% support, McCrory with 23% and Walker with 7%. Eastman placed a distant fourth at 2%, with 10 other primary candidates following behind at 1% or less.

Conducted by SurveyUSA, the WRAL poll had a 5% margin of error.

Rowan’s Rep. Wayne Sasser endorses Rep. Budd for Senate bid

RALEIGH — Rep. Wayne Sasser, a Republican representing Rowan, Cabarrus and Stanly counties in N.C. District 67, has endorsed Rep. Ted Budd in his bid for the U.S. Senate race.

Sasser is one of more than 30 North Carolina lawmakers who have endorsed the Trump-backed candidate. Sasser is the General Assembly’s lone pharmacist and chair of the House Health Committee. Sasser credited Budd with being a leader who genuinely cares for his constituents.

“As a pharmacist, I’m well aware of how bad the opioid problem is in our country,” Sasser said. “When yet another constituent told Ted about her own family’s tragic story, he took action with legislation that had a positive impact fighting this problem. And as a cattle farmer, I know that Ted Budd is a friend of N.C. agriculture.”

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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