Elon Poll: Voters mixed on high profile legislative items

Posted September 20, 2013

— Registered voters support legislation that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls and drug testing for welfare recipients, but they continue to say the economy and jobs are the most pressing issues in the United States, according to the latest Elon University Poll.

Of the 701 people who responded to the statewide poll, which was conducted Sept. 13-16, 24.3 percent said the economy was the most pressing issue in the country. Another 14.3 percent said jobs and unemployment were the most pressing issue.

"You really could add those together with another response about the budget and the debt," said Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon University Poll. "Really, about half the responses to that question are about the economy."

That's consistent with other surveys over the years by other pollsters that show pocketbook issues traditionally rank highest in importance with voters.

The state Department of Commerce reported Friday that North Carolina's unemployment rate dropped from 8.9 to 8.7 percent in August, but the state shed more than 3,500 jobs during the month.

The poll results released Friday morning gauge responses to a number of pieces of legislation passed during the General Assembly session. Among those:

  • 69.7 percent of respondents said they support a law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. The survey did not ask about most other provisions in the legislation to change state elections and campaign finance regulations but it did find more than half of respondents disagreed with a provision that reduces the early voting period from 17 to 10 days.
  • More than 72 percent of respondents said they opposed a provision in the omnibus firearms bill passed this year that allows concealed handgun permit holders to bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Responses were more mixed on the question of allowing concealed handgun permit holders to bring handguns into parks, with 53 percent opposed. Overall, more than half of voters agreed with the statement that "there should be more legal restrictions on handguns in our society."
  • More than 80 percent said that teachers should be paid more. The state budget does not provide for pay raises this year for teachers. The budget also does away with career status for teachers, what some people have called tenure. Of those surveyed, 53.3 percent support giving teachers career status. 
  • Three-quarters of those surveyed agreed that a person should be required to take a drug test before receiving welfare benefits. The state legislature passed a law requiring testing by overriding Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of the measure.
  • Voters were mixed in their response to a question on unemployment benefits. A third said the state doesn't pay enough to unemployed workers, while another third said the current benefit system is "about right." Twenty percent said the benefits are too generous. North Carolina scaled back the amount of time during which someone could receive benefits this year.

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  • junkmail5 Sep 23, 2013

    Most that do not like the Voter ID bill want the ability to CHEAT- baldchip

    Utter nonsense.

    Especially since there's NO evidence of any ACTUAL cheating this bill would even stop.

    The only place there IS evidence of cheating- absentee ballots- the GOP did nothing to improve.

    Because they don't care about FRAUD, they care about making it harder for likely democratic voters to vote.

    No worries though- the courts will toss the law before it goes into place.

  • baldchip Sep 23, 2013

    Kdog-nope-your wrong about voter ID!! Most that do not like the Voter ID bill want the ability to CHEAT!! Do you? Most normal citizens see the logic in voter ID as they have to present an ID do do many things in everyday life. Really-it's a no brainer!! Liberal activists who want a cause are against it!!

    I do have an issue with the weapons bill. Someone snuck a silencer provision into that bill allowing noise supression devises on hunting rifles. WHIS IS WRONG in that it handicaps the NCWRC from finding illegal hunters. That will need to be repealled next spring!!

    Concerning Education-look at the numbers-how much is bedgetted for Education!! It's more than before!!

  • kdogwnc Sep 23, 2013

    If a factory closes, and a couple hundred people are laid off, we can't afford to pay them unemployment benefits because those people are apparently lazy.

    If a government chief of staff gets canned, apparently, after a month on the job with a salary that pays him $14K/month, then we can afford to pay him a $37K severance package. We need to know exactly why Mr. Adams left DHHS after a month, and the exact nature of claims he waived in his severance agreement.

    As for the voter ID provision, the Constitution of the United States protects against the tyranny of the majority. As it is constructed in the new NC law, the voter ID provision is clearly an unconstitutional poll tax, and will be until the state issues a free identification card to every registered voter, or eliminates the driver's license fee.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Sep 21, 2013

    Blackbeard Lives!!!

    These people, under the flag of the Republican party, are plundering the tax money of the people of North Carolina like pirates fighting over the booty in a treasure chest.

  • Rodin Sep 21, 2013

    In addition to Lady Wos and her hiring of friends and sycophants plus her other 1400 new hires, there are the 1600 DHHS who have left and the McCrory administration's ongoing commitment to add 100's more current state employees to the unemployed rosters to help improve the unemployment picture in NC. Got to have the money to pay for those sycophants come from somewhere.

  • HeadsUp Sep 20, 2013

    I don't understand all the whining and carping that the McCrory administration has gone too far afield of its promised agenda of "jobs, jobs, jobs."

    Seems to me Lady Wos is hiring friends and sychophants as fast as she can.