Poll: NC divided on federal health care law

Posted February 28, 2011

— North Carolina residents are split over the year-old federal health care reform law, but majorities favor many of the law's individual elements, according to a poll released Monday.

The Elon University Poll surveyed 467 people statewide Feb. 20-24 on issues like health care reform, video poker and the state Alcoholic Beverage Control system. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while 39 percent support it. Less than one in four said they would like the entire law repealed, while 18 percent want portions of it thrown out and 14 percent said they like the law as is.

Majorities of respondents, ranging from 55 to 78 percent, said they support five of seven major provisions in the bill, including providing financial assistance to help low-income people obtain health insurance and requiring wealthy people to pay more for Medicare coverage.

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed opposed the so-called "individual mandate," which requires people to buy health insurance or face fines, beginning in 2014.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly approved a measure last week that would exempt North Carolina residents from the individual mandate and order Attorney General Roy Cooper to join a lawsuit filed by several other states challenging the federal law.

Cooper said the legislation is unenforceable, and his concerns have led Gov. Beverly Perdue to consider a possible veto of the bill.

The Elon poll found that 44 percent of residents support the General Assembly's challenge to the law, while 33 percent oppose it.

Regarding the ABC system, 52 percent of those surveyed oppose privatizing liquor sales, while 37 percent back it. Support for changing the system has dwindled in the past year, from 38 percent in a March 2010 poll to 29 percent.

A majority of those surveyed said video poker should be legal in North Carolina, while 39 percent said it should continue to be banned. Last April, the results were much closer, with 46 percent in favor of video poker and 45 percent against it.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they favor legalizing Internet sweepstakes games, while 42 percent oppose such a move. Fifty-two percent they support the idea of North Carolina regulating and taxing sweepstakes games.

Opposition to same-sex marriage in North Carolina appears to be waning. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they are against any legal recognition of same-sex couples, down from 44 percent in a March 2009 poll. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who favor allowing same-sex marriage has grown from 21 percent in March 2009 to 28 percent.

Fifty-six percent of respondents oppose an amendment to the North Carolina constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage, while 38 percent would support it.

More than three-quarters of respondents said they favor the idea of requiring photo identification to vote in the state. Lawmakers are considering such legislation.


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  • 6079 SMITH W Mar 1, 2011

    Yeah, this poll is tainted by socialist zeal and liberal facts. How 'bout we hear from a more fair and balanced perspective to get the REAL pulse of the nation. ;)

  • littleriver69 Mar 1, 2011

    I just want the same plan obama has. I want a personal trainer flown in from Chicago once a week at taxpayer expense. Lets start with that.

  • geoherb1 Mar 1, 2011

    This Elon poll included cell phone users. The questions and possible responses, as well as the methodology, are available on Elon's website. Please take a look at them before assuming that they're biased.

  • GoGreen Mar 1, 2011

    I encourage all GOLOgians to actually READ the article before commenting. I know that is really against GOLO tradition, but try it. You may learn something even if you don't want to.

  • GoGreen Mar 1, 2011

    "Majorities of respondents, ranging from 55 to 78 percent, said they support five of seven major provisions in the bill"

    Sounds like North Carolinians (and Americans) DO want ObamaCare.

  • bigal02282 Mar 1, 2011

    No polls necessary. Just look at these posts. the percentages don't matter. It's currently law, and unless there is a vote to repeal or change it, there could be 10% against it and there's nothing you can do to change it.

  • hcain73 Mar 1, 2011

    Divided? U think???? We r not divided. We just do not want it.....

  • etshoney Mar 1, 2011

    76% OPPOSE THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE! Without the individual mandate the whole bill is unenforceable. Did the poll ask the respondents if they knew that and if they would support another bill that would address those issues? Of course not, that may educate the public. ONLY 14% LIKE THE BILL AS IS! I don't call that divided!

  • skeeter II Mar 1, 2011

    I have pointed out to ELON pollsters that they are only reaching those individuals that have "land-line" telephones and none of the people that only have cell phones. I have asked them how many in North Carolina only have cell phones, and they said they did not know.

    Many of the people that have only cell phones are younger than those that only have "land-line" phones. I stated to ELON person that if those with only cell phones were included in their polls, the results might be the opposite of their poll results.

    We should not rely on any poll that could not included everyone as a person to be included in the poll--or the results probably are not the true "feelings" of the majority of people.

    Besides, we are no longer following the old "majority rules" of the past. We now have to be "considerate" of others feelings (politically correct??) in our decision-making!

    Our current President has directed some federal agencies to ignore some of the laws passed by Congress. BAD BAD !!!

  • HeadPro Mar 1, 2011

    "our government has been controlled by special interests for decades" - HeadPro

    Yeah, those special interests are called "Politicians". They pass new laws, follow party direction, spend money and line their own pockets, all at our expense. We elect them and then they do as they darn well please, always increasing their take from the people.

    Agreed! I would simply add that I consider the politicians themselves more like puppets despite the fact that a few wield great power and influence. You want to find out who the real special interests are, just follow the money. You can start with the obvious ones such as big oil, health care and pharmaceutical companies, unions (not so much any more), different advocacy groups, and so on... or... you can dig into the not so obvious ones.... For those, you'll need to do your research. Nothing like a little research and discovery to open the mind.