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GOP congressional candidates Rouzer and White release conflicting poll results

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David Rouzer and Woody White, republican candidates for the 7th District U.S. House seat, released conflicting polls Thursday. David Rouzer and Woody White, republican candidates for the 7th District U.S. House seat, released conflicting polls Thursday.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – David Rouzer and Woody White, republican candidates for the 7th District U.S. House seat, released conflicting polls Thursday.

Rouzer's campaign said he had a 55%-19% lead in the Public Opinion Strategies poll of 300 likely Republican primary voters conducted Jan. 20-21.

Despite serving as chair of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, White trails his opponent in name recognition by 19 points in the Wilmington media market, according to the poll paid for by his opponent.

In the Raleigh media market, Rouzer, who lives in Johnson County, leads White 71%-4% and enjoys name recognition of 86% compared to White's 18%, Rouzer's campaign reported.

 A former state senator, Rouzer narrowly lost the 2012 general election to Rep. Mike McIntyre (D), who is not seeking re-election. White officially announced his candidacy Jan. 8.

According to the poll, Rouzer has name recognition of 85% throughout the district along with a 47% favorable and 9% unfavorable rating among primary voters.

"The results of this poll reflect what we've heard around the district - voters in Southeastern North Carolina are ready for the fresh ideas and energetic conservative leadership they know David Rouzer will bring to Washington," said campaign manager Tyler Foote. 

When asked to respond to the results, White said his opponent's pollsters didn't release the full results because Rouzer's support is "razor thin across the district." 

"A campaign is a process that affords us the opportunity to contrast our stories," White said. "This district is not going to send another lobbyist to Washington, D.C. It's going to send a lifelong resident, an average person that has built a small business and raised a family here. That's what Washington D.C. needs to change America. The only poll that matters is Election Day, when the voters have the final say, and not some paid polling company." 

Just a few hours after commenting on Rouzer's numbers, White released results of his own poll of 403 likely GOP voters taken Jan. 7-9. 

The poll showed Rouzer leading White 37% to 22%, with 41% not sure. Rouzer's lead was thinner in the Wilmington market, 34% to 30%.  

When pollsters provided respondents with information about White's "conservative record, issue positions, and biography," while not offering any information about Rouzer, the results shifted, with White leading 53% to 17% throughout the district. 

In a memo, pollster Bob Wickers wrote, "it is remarkable so few Republican primary voters stick with Rouzer – who has been campaigning for congress the last three years and was the 2012 GOP nominee." 

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