Outside the Box


HB2 POLLING DEEP DIVE: The law is widely unpopular and isn't helping McCrory

Posted September 21, 2016


If backers of HB2 must be disappointed if they were hoping the latest effort to blame the troubles that followed its passage on the Charlotte City Council and a host of other folks would take some of the heat off of Gov. Pat McCrory and other Republicans

Nearly half of North Carolina’s likely voters disapprove of how McCrory’s handled HB2; 47% oppose HB2; 41% say McCrory’s handling of HB2 make them less likely to vote for him; 59% say HB2 is hurting the state and has had a negative impact on the economy; and 52% say it should be repealed.

Those numbers, gathered by Public Policy Polling, came AFTER the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association revealed it had been working behind the scenes to broker a deal to repeal HB2. It quickly turned out that the “deal” was just a restatement of the long-standing demand from legislative leaders that Charlotte unconditionally repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance and the legislature would consider repealing HB2.

A deeper dive into the finding on HB2 reveal that even those who support it have misgivings about its impact. Of those who say they back HB2:

  • Nearly a quarter, 24%, say it is hurting North Carolina slightly more than half, 56%, say its helping.
  • Nearly a third, 32%, say it’s having a negative impact on the state’s economy while just 20% say it is having a positive impact.

Among unaffiliated and independent voters:

  • 49% oppose HB2
  • 56% say HB2 should be repealed
  • 60% say it’s had a negative impact on the state’s economy
  • 42% say McCrory’s handling of HB2 makes them less likely to vote for him while 29% say they are more likely.

Backer of HB2, particularly McCrory and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, have stressed that the law was necessary to protect the safety of women and children. “If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it,” Forest proclaimed.

The women they are protecting, apparently don’t see it the same way. Just 28% of likely women voters say HB2 has made the state safer while nearly half (49%), say it hasn’t. Among likely men voters, 49% say it hasn't made the state safer while 35% say it has. Not much of a gender gap.

Click here to see details of the Public Policy Polling survey.


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