Local Politics

Poll: Majority of N.C. voters dislike bailout

Posted October 10, 2008

— More than half of North Carolina voters disapprove of the recent $700 billion federal bailout of the U.S. financial industry, and they are evenly split on whether the move will help or hurt the economy, according to a new WRAL News poll.

Polling firm Rasmussen Reports surveyed 700 self-described likely voters statewide on Wednesday and found that 51 percent disagreed with the plan for the government to buy up bad assets from banks to stabilize the economy. Twenty-one percent agreed with the plan, while the remaining respondents said they weren't sure about it.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said the plan would boost the economy, while the same percentage said it would hurt the economy. Thirty percent said they didn't think the bailout would affect the economy at all.

With less than a month until the election, the economy remains the No. 1 concern among voters. Forty-six percent of those surveyed ranked the economy as the most important issue in the presidential election, far outpacing national security, which 20 percent cited.

The presidential race in North Carolina remains tight between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama. Obama holds a 49 to 48 percent lead in the poll, compared with a 50 to 47 percent lead in a WRAL News poll conducted a week ago.

"I think you got a candidate on the Democratic side that excites new voters," David McLennan, a political science professor at Peace College, said of Obama. "Again, if you look at voter registration totals, a lot of them are new voters."

Obama leads McCain among voters under age 30 by a 56 to 40 margin.

In a Friday morning interview with WRAL News, Obama made a pitch to the few undecided voters in North Carolina by pointing to the continuing instability on Wall Street.

"If people are more satisfied now than they were four years ago or eight years ago with the economy – their jobs, their health care, their homes – then they should vote for John McCain because he wants to continue those policies," Obama said via satellite from Ohio. "If you think we need a fundamental change to bring jobs back to North Carolina, then I hope that you'll give the Obama-(Joe) Biden ticket a chance."

McCain's campaign didn't respond Friday to requests for an interview.

Almost two-thirds of Obama's supporters cited the economy as the most important issue in the election, compared with 31 percent of McCain's backers. Nearly three-quarters of McCain's supporters cited national security as the top issue, compared with 26 percent of Obama's backers.

"Obama's numbers kind of go up every time there's a job loss in North Carolina," McLennan said.

In the Senate race, state Sen. Democrat Kay Hagan holds a 49 to 44 percent lead over Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

"It's understandable why (Hagan is) doing so well. I mean, Elizabeth Dole has been linked to (President) George Bush, and George Bush is not really helping any Republican candidate," McLennan said.

Like Obama, Hagan leads among young voters and those most concerned about the economy. About two-thirds of her supporters cite the economy as the top issue – almost double Dole's numbers. Meanwhile, 66 percent of Dole's backers list national security as most important – more than double Hagan's numbers.


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  • atozca Oct 10, 2008

    Obama leads McCain among voters under age 30 by a 56 to 40 margin.

    I'm old enough to know that we are most immature when we are 30 and under. It's scary to think that our most immature new voters could win this election.

  • open2debate Oct 10, 2008

    i think to say the people dislike the bailout could possibly be the understatement of the year. at least we mccain people aren't blinded by the light, he is just the lesser of the two evils. if i get to choose between them taking two legs or one, i would opt for the one. obama's crowd can't see negative which is why this election is a little frightening. no experience vs experience, but in the end they were both sitting there in the senate day by day and didn't see this coming? i hear both claiming that they had warned about this before it happened but gosh, i don't recall hearing either one of them talking about it until now. wonder what else they know in washington that they aren't telling us? seems the perfect time clean house up there and start over. apparently we would be no worse off since the "experts" don't know what to do.

  • nc resident Oct 10, 2008

    it's amazing that people come out of the woodwork to vote for the Obama....they have never taken interest in politics , never voted, looking for a handout until someone at their level decides to run for president.. hope all the Obama registrations will be turned down and Obama be DEPORTED out of the country...and take his supporters with him....can't wait to see the F.B.I. put handcuffs on this criminal...

  • saturn5 Oct 10, 2008

    jman, if you want to know how we got in this mess, just follow the money.

    *Which candidate has received the most donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
    *Which candidate uses a former CEO of Fannie Mae on his staff?
    *Which candidate sued Citibank for not making enough subprime loans when they were a laywer?
    *Which party introduced, then expanded the Community Reinvestment Act that was the beginning of subprime lending?

    Google will give you the answers, if you truly want to know.

  • saturn5 Oct 10, 2008

    I would respectfully suggest a Libertarian President would be completely useless. With both Republicans AND Democrats to contend with, the Libertarian President hasn't got a hope of getting anything done. Any Veto could be easily overridden.

    If you want a Libertarian President, you're going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up. We have to have more Libertarians in Congress.

    People need to get involved in ALL elections, not just the Presidential race. Most change can be affected at the local level. Voting for 1 person every 4 years doesn't put the government on auto pilot. For our government to be "of the people" that means "the people" - i.e. US - need to be involved. To quote JFK, "...Ask not what your country can do for you - Ask what you can do for your country." Those words are just as true today as they were 47 years ago.

  • groovyguru Oct 10, 2008

    Imagine 30 years from now. Your kids work at a low-paying, low-skill, government-program job. They can never make any more than anyone else no matter how hard they work because we have to be "fair." They wait in line for hours at the "free" clinic. They drive a boring "green" car that looks just like everyone else's car and runs on cow flatus. They live in a government-owned row house that needs work. Now imagine yourself explaining to your kids and their kids how you let the greatest nation on Earth fall to socialism.

  • ThinkChick Oct 10, 2008


    Thanks for noting that Senator Dole voted against this taxpayer rip off.

    I suspect Kay "Love Taxes and Deficits" Hagan would have been first at the trough.

  • ThisIsMyName Oct 10, 2008

    Both liberals supported it... liberal Obama and liberal McCain.

  • news4u Oct 10, 2008

    Welfare for Wall Street!

  • kevhays01 Oct 10, 2008

    Both Obama and McCain voted for this piece of junk. Yet another reason i am voting for Chuck Badwin of the consitution party for president!!