Local Politics

Poll: Economy Could Tip State, National Voting

Posted February 22, 2008

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— North Carolina residents say the economy is the most important issue facing the state and will likely play a key role in state and national elections in November, according to an Elon University Poll.

Almost 30 percent of the 764 residents surveyed this week by the Elon University Institute for Politics and Public Affairs cited the economy as the most important issue in North Carolina. About 12 percent said education was most important, followed by the drought and other energy and environmental issues at 10 percent.

“Seeing the economy become so pronounced in such a short time indicates true concern among citizens about their personal financial well-being,” Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll, said in a statement. “As people begin to feel the direct effects of the poor economy, pocketbook issues may become their primary concern in the voting booth.”

More than four of every five respondents said the economy would influence their voting in the May primaries and November general election. Taxes, the Iraq War and health care costs were other issues that will influence the votes of at least three-fourths of North Carolina residents, according to the poll.

Some issues have a more pronounced effect on a national level than they do on a state level. For example, while 53 percent said the economy would influence their vote for governor, 70 percent said it would affect how they vote in the presidential election.

On the other hand, transportation and education have a larger impact on the vote for governor than they do for presidential choices, according to the poll.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama holds a double-digit lead over New York Sen. Hilary Clinton among those surveyed, 45 to 31 percent, in the May 6 Democratic presidential primary. Twenty-two percent of the respondents remain undecided.

On the Republican side, North Carolina residents are clearly behind Arizona Sen. John McCain. He garnered 62 percent support in the poll, compared with 24 percent for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

In the race for governor, the poll shows Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory hold commanding leads.

Perdue was favored by 40 percent of respondents for the Democratic nomination, compared with 28 percent for State Treasurer Richard Moore. Almost a third of voters remain undecided.

McCrory's 28 percent response in the poll was more than double his closest competitor for the GOP nomination. State Sen. Fred Smith was favored by 12 percent of those polled, followed by Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham at 10 percent and former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr at 6 percent. Forty-four percent of voters are still undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent, and respondents weren't limited by their voter eligibility or their likelihood of voting in an election.

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  • BULLDOZER Feb 22, 2008

    Hey, whether you're for or against the war, Democrats are never good for the economy. Put Obama in the House and he will raise our taxes through the roof for all of his liberal programs.

  • downtownbrown Feb 22, 2008

    "We have a problem with millions upon millions of illegal immigrants taking jobs and taking seats at our colleges and taking seats in the emergency rooms."

    I'm laughing my a-- off at this comment. What kind of jobs do you think illegals do? They sure aren't doing anything other than menial work that no one else will do. Most illegals here are only illegal because they have overstayed their visas, and it is extremely difficult and costs a lot of money to get one renewed. You go to Mexico and see what kind of conditions these people come from. I've been there. It's not pretty. I think we should hold companies responsible for the hiring of illegals rather than blaming people who just want a better living for themselves and their families. Until you've done your research and been to Mexico and seen real poverty, don't make stupid statements.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Feb 22, 2008

    I'm voting Republican either way. My mind was made up when I turned 18...that was 20 years go!

  • Tater Salad Feb 22, 2008

    In these gloom-and-doom narratives by the well off, we less fortunate Americans are doing almost everything right, but still are not living as well as we deserve to be. And the common culprit is a government that is not doing enough good for us, and corporations that do too much bad to us.

    In the new pessimistic indictment, the home mortgage meltdown has not occurred because too many speculative buyers were hoping to flip houses for quick profits. It had nothing to do with misguided attempts of government and lending institutions to put first-time buyers in homes through zero-down payments, interest-only loans, and subprime but adjustable mortgage rates - as part of liberal efforts to increase
    home ownership rates.

    cont

  • Tater Salad Feb 22, 2008

    Ivy League Populism
    By Victor Davis Hanson

    The rhetoric of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about the sadstate of America is reminiscent of the suspect populism of John Edwards, the millionaire lawyer who recently dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.

    Barack Obama may have gone to exclusive private schools. He and his wife may both be lawyers who between them have earned four expensive Ivy League degrees. They may make about a million dollars a year, live in an expensive home and send their kids to prep school. But they are still apparently first-hand witnesses to how the American dream hasgone sour. Two other Ivy League lawyers, Hillary and Bill, are multimillionaires who have found America to be a land of riches beyond most people's imaginations. But Hillary also talks of the tragic lost dream of America.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Feb 22, 2008

    Democrats are making promises to any special interest group that will listen...If the young Americans are really intersted in their country and their future, they had better put someone in there to block Nancy P. (certified nutcase)

  • Harrison Bergeron Feb 22, 2008

    "Illegal immigration and the economy are directly linked. If voters don't realize this they don't need to be voting. By the way, the poll asked about "immigration", not "illegal immigration". Most of us have NO problem with immigration even though the drive-by's love to portray it as that. We have a problem with millions upon millions of illegal immigrants taking jobs and taking seats at our colleges and taking seats in the emergency rooms." - PaulRevere

    You beat me too it. However, massive legal immigration through visa programs also have an effect on the economy. In addition to your list regarding illegals, I also have a problem with the LEGAL importation of wage slaves to suppress the wages of American citizens.

  • PaulRevere Feb 22, 2008

    Illegal immigration and the economy are directly linked. If voters don't realize this they don't need to be voting. By the way, the poll asked about "immigration", not "illegal immigration". Most of us have NO problem with immigration eventhough the drive-by's love to portray it as that. We have a problem with millions upon millions of illegal immigrants taking jobs and taking seats at our colleges and taking seats in the emergency rooms.

  • Time for the Truth Feb 22, 2008

    A new direction would be a 3rd party! Unions have driven wages up (which party supports them) Waste (both parties) and people lIving WAY ABOVE their means-is not either party's fault! To many LAWYERS have caused wages and prices (health and auto insurance) to go up because of stupid lawsuits (which party supports layers -DEMOCRATS)!! It'a hard to invest in our future when kids can't be disciplined so they can learn!

  • Time for the Truth Feb 22, 2008

    Funny now the liberals are going after the Republicans since Iraq is working any more by using the economy. Well the oil prices along with the gas tax(NC Democrats fault) and the Democrats in the House and Congress that have ruled 40 of the last 48 years have not allowed the USA to build REFINERY'S so we could produce our own gas!! And can't wait until we get a DEMOCRATIC White House,Congress and House of Representatives-then we will no longer the know this Country as we know it! IT will be GONE!!!

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