Elon, N.C. — North Carolina residents are fairly evenly divided in their opinions of President Barack Obama, Gov. Beverly Perdue and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, according to a poll released Friday. One thing most can agree on, however, is how much they dislike Congress.
The Elon University Poll surveyed 584 adults statewide between Monday and Thursday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Forty-seven percent of those polled approve of Obama's job performance, while another 47 percent disapprove. Forty-nine percent said they have a favorable opinion of the president, while 43 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
Likewise, 43 percent of respondents approve of Perdue's job performance, and 44 percent disapprove. Thirty-eight percent said they have a favorable opinion of the governor, while 42 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
For Burr, 37 percent of those surveyed approve of his job performance, compared with 32 percent who disapprove. Yet, only 29 percent said he deserves to be re-elected, while 49 percent said it's time to get someone else in the U.S. Senate.
Who that new senator might be remains a question. Respondents gave Burr better marks than Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall and Libertarian Mike Beitler.
Forty-four percent of those surveyed rate Burr as highly qualified to serve in the Senate, compared with 27 percent for Marshall and 5 percent for Beitler. Three-fourths of respondents said they don't know enough about Beitler to offer an opinion.
Respondents also were split on whether tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush should be continued or allowed to expire. Forty-three percent favor ending tax cuts for households making more than $250,000 a year while keeping tax cuts for everyone else; 35 percent want to keep tax cuts in place for everyone; and 11 percent would prefer to let the tax cuts expire altogether.
The one issue in the poll that wasn't evenly split was on Congress' job performance. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they disapprove of the job done by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, compared with 23 percent who approve.
When asked who was doing the best job handling the major issues facing the nation, Obama was chosen by 32 percent of those surveyed, Republicans in Congress by 22 percent and congressional Democrats by 9 percent. Almost a third said "none of them."