@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Polls: McCrory popular, legislature not so much

Posted April 22, 2013

— Two recent polls by Public Policy Polling and Elon University offer very similar findings: Gov. Pat McCrory is still relatively popular with North Carolinians, but his fellow Republicans at the General Assembly, and some of their more attention-grabbing legislative proposals, are not. 

"McCrory's approval rating is a +13 spread this month, with 49 percent of voters approving and 36 percent disapproving of his performance. His numbers have been very consistent over the last three months – +14 in February, +14 in March and now +13," PPP reported Monday.

Elon put McCrory at +21, with 46 percent of those surveyed approving of the job he was doing and only 25 percent disapproving. 

Lawmakers did not fare as well. In the Elon poll, "Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said they approve of the state legislature’s job performance, up four points from the previous Elon University Poll, while almost 39 percent said they disapprove."

PPP offered a similar finding.

"Republican legislators have a 34/53 favorability rating, and the General Assembly as a whole has just a 20 percent approval, with 56 percent of voters disapproving of it," reports PPP.

For those who don't know, PPP generally does paid work for Democratic clients. Elon University runs a well-respected academic poll that focuses on North Carolina and the South. 

Both Elon and PPP asked respondents about a series of legislative proposals that have grabbed headlines over the past two months, finding that many are deeply unpopular with voters. While neither poll claims to show cause and effect, it's not unreasonable to say that, if voters don't favor the policies lawmakers are putting forward, they are not going to like those particular lawmakers.

The data in the April 17 Elon poll release found 69 percent of those surveyed disapproved of a bill that would make it harder to get divorced, and 74 percent said they opposed a measure to allow some motorcycle riders to not wear a helmet.

In the PPP poll, only 25 percent of those surveyed approved of a bill that imposed a tax penalty on the parents of students who register to vote at college, and just 33 percent approve of trimming the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. Only 22 percent approved of plans to cut the state's requirement that power companies buy a certain percentage of power from renewable energy companies.

"The only high-profile Republican initiative we polled that has much traction with voters is the one to make Christianity the official state religion," PPP reported, with 42 percent in support and 45 percent opposed.

To be fair, the proposal didn't so much declare a state religion as it did state the sense of the House that it could ignore 200 years of court rulings and declare an official religion if it wanted to do so.

"What these numbers show is that, while North Carolina has been getting a lot of national media attention of late for some of the unusual bills being proposed in its legislature, very few of these ideas have much traction with the public," writes PPP's polling director, Tom Jensen.

To make sure I wasn't making an unwise leap across the correlation-causality Rubicon, I gave Jensen a call to see if I was making too big of a leap from unpopular bills to unpopular legislators. Jensen agreed that the connection makes sense. 

"It stands to reason that, if everything you're putting forward – or almost everything – that's getting a lot of attention is unpopular, you're going to be unpopular too," Jensen said.

29 Comments

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  • downtowner Apr 23, 3:44 p.m.

    I can see why, McCrory is an excellent figurehead, appearing genuinely amicable as he introduces our latest NC corporate business partners.

    Meanwhile the GOP is doing the dirty work under a very public spotlight. With proposed legislation like the state religion bill its no wonder they are taking a beating in the press. Don't forget however, that McCrory is signing EVERYTHING that the GOP hands him. He will soon be known as McCrony, I'm afraid.

  • Plenty Coups Apr 23, 3:33 p.m.

    Grand-'Well thats not quite fair.....the GOP have a big enough majority to pass anything they please whether or not McCrory veto'd it. But it would be nice if he showed he had a spine and actually tried....but I doubt he will.'

    The biggest disappointment I've had w/ McCrory was hsi signing the rejection of the expansion of Medicaid. It's an extremist position and he went right along with it.

  • Grand Union Apr 23, 3:15 p.m.

    "Liberals have such short memories. They forget the Dem antibusiness policies and extreme taxes are the reason they arent in office."

    except under the Dems NC was one of the top States for Business and taxes are essentially the same as they were before the crash and recent GOP moves are going to require tax increases not reductions.

    " Dems say they 'care' about people but all they care about is using tax dollars to solidify minority voting power."

    I heard it was so they could train pigs to fly!

    " If the legislature can reverse some Democratic legislation that would be a good thing for overtaxed and oppressed working folks"

    LOL taxes are at historical lows and the only people oppressing working folks are the employers.

  • Grand Union Apr 23, 3:11 p.m.

    Well if nothing else this shows really how small the tea Party core is in NC. If they keep this up the 2014 elections are going to be a slaughter.

  • Grand Union Apr 23, 3:07 p.m.

    "Gov. Pat McCrory's polling numbers are downright remarkable when you consider the fact that he's done more damage to the state during his first 4 months in office than all the N.C. governors in the last century did COMBINED !"

    Well thats not quite fair.....the GOP have a big enough majority to pass anything they please whether or not McCrory veto'd it. But it would be nice if he showed he had a spine and actually tried....but I doubt he will.

  • soyousay Apr 23, 2:21 p.m.

    and replace them with what?..

    people who are not gag lines for the rest of the country

  • soyousay Apr 23, 2:20 p.m.

    the General Assembly as a whole has just a 20 percent approval, with 56 percent of voters disapproving of it..

    oh my, how could that be? Could it be the "defense of religion" , could it be mandated (unfunded) cursive writing courses (because some kids sent her-nameless rep- a printed note, really), could it be added to the misery of divorcing? oh and so many, many more

  • watkinsjr Apr 23, 2:06 p.m.

    Gov. Pat McCrory's polling numbers are downright remarkable when you consider the fact that he's done more damage to the state during his first 4 months in office than all the N.C. governors in the last century did COMBINED ! I chalk these polls up to the fact that huge numbers of voters pay very little attention to political news in non-election years.It took the American public YEARS to figure out what a sorry skunk George W. Bush was.His popularity was astronomically high during his first years in office. If the voters of N.C. have half a brain, they'll eventually figure out just how bad the governor we have really is.Where McCrory's numbers go from here will actually amount to an interesting test of N.C. voters intelligence. If his popularity holds, it will pretty much confirm that the majority of N.C. voters are as dumb as the cast members of the TV show "Hee Haw" PRETENDED TO BE.

  • for the people Apr 23, 12:55 p.m.

    plenty coups, i believe some moderation would be good for our general assembly as well. did you purposly leave out mention of good money management, or is that not a concern of yours?

  • corgimom06 Apr 23, 12:51 p.m.

    "@We need to vote out most members of the General Assembly.

    and replace them with what?"

    People who aren't interested in right wing social engineering. I'm amazed they found 20% of people that support what the GA is doing right now.

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