WRAL News poll: NC pessimistic about economy

Posted March 20, 2014

WRAL News Poll image

— North Carolina residents are less optimistic about the state's economy than they were two years ago, according to a WRAL News poll released Thursday.

SurveyUSA polled 2,100 adults statewide Monday through Wednesday and also found that the majority of people think all public school teachers should receive pay raises and that most people believe Duke Energy should pick up the tab for cleaning up coal ash ponds at 14 North Carolina power plants.

When asked whether the state economy would be stronger, weaker or the same a year from now, only 23 percent of respondents predicted better days ahead. Forty percent said the economy would remain fairly steady in the coming year, while 32 percent said the economy would trail off.

The same question was asked in WRAL News polls conducted in March and October 2012.

In March 2012, 34 percent of those polled were bullish on the economy, compared with 19 percent who were bearish. Thirty-nine percent said the economy would be the same over the course of a year.

Seven months later, poll respondents were even more optimistic, with 52 percent predicting a stronger economy and only 7 percent saying things were going to get worse. A quarter of those polled said the economy would remain the same.

The latest poll also asked people about raises for teachers. Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders have proposed boosting the pay of starting teachers but haven't committed to any across-the-board increases.

Fifty-two percent of those polled said all teachers deserve a raise, while only 5 percent said raises should be limited to teachers with nine years or less of experience. Thirty-six percent said teacher pay should be based on classroom performance, an idea advocated by some lawmakers, while 5 percent said no raises should be offered at this time.

Regarding coal ash, 61 percent of those polled disapprove of the way state officials have handled a Feb. 2 coal ash spill in the Dan River, compared with 23 percent who said regulators have done a good job. Eighty-eight percent said Duke should pay to clean up the ash ponds at its North Carolina power plants, while only 9 percent said the costs should be passed on to customers through higher electric rates. Duke officials have said the company would pay to clean up the Dan River spill but would ask the state Utilities Commission for permission to raise rates to cover the cost of disposing of the ash in its remaining ponds.


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  • Brian Jenkins Mar 21, 2014

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    Dear lord just cut off QE will you? Lets see the REAL economy. Not your propped up with money printed (i mean bond buying) out of thin air nonsense. You know started with Bush and continued with Obama. Obama voters should love Bush and vice versa.

  • Brian Jenkins Mar 21, 2014

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    No we succeeded in $17.5 trillion in debt that your kids, kids, kids will be paying. Thanks to DEMS and REPS and Bush and Obama voters. Now back to crying about which one is worse.

  • Billy Smith Mar 21, 2014
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    These questions are as loaded as a baby's diaper. The NC Democrat economy should be known as the 'Lawyer Relief Act' because that's who benefited from the scandals they are trying to forget.

  • Brian Jenkins Mar 21, 2014

    LOL more my party is better than yours nonsense. Name ONE major policy change from Bush to Obama. Not healthcare. Bush had medicare part D welfare. Not monetary. FED still printing us to crumbs. Not war. Still fighting trying to invade Syria next. Not immigration. Not civil liberties (NDAA, Patriot Act) What? Name it.

    You cant. Bush and Obama, Dems and Reps are the same thing sold to you sheep two different ways.

  • bmac813 Mar 21, 2014

    Lets see Unemployment is between 20 and 25% But you won't hear that from the liberal Press.
    My Son works for agency that gets People Jobs, He put one out last week for a Bank, First day he had SIX HITS, by the End of the WEEK He gad 560 HITS.
    The only Place Obama has created Jobs is in CHINA, A-123 Battery, 249 Million than Went Bankrupt and moved to China, Fisher Auto, 529 Million Than went bankrupt, Al Gore made out on That one, Solyndra, 535 Million than you guessed it Bankrupt. Why isn't the Congress making them PAY IT BACK????
    They are all in it together.

  • Bill Brasky Mar 21, 2014

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    I'll add that nationally we actually succeeded in lowering the unemployment rate (lower than NCs) without having to resort to kicking the needy off of unemployment, than making the bold claim that unemployment dropped.

  • Bill Brasky Mar 21, 2014

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    So now you want to talk about national numbers...ok... Nationally the unemployment rate is lower than NC's and Nationally we have had 5 years straight, thats 60 months of positive net job growth, how is that a jobless recovery again? How many months in a row has NC seen positive net job growth...Maybe 3..

  • dennis8 Mar 21, 2014

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    He has cut the deficit more than any other President. That was done with the Grand Obstructionist Party trying everything they could to derail it all. Just think how much better we could be if the GOP would have compromised.

  • goldenosprey Mar 21, 2014

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    Kinda hard when the GOP is sabotaging the economy the whole way...

  • Stilllearnin Mar 21, 2014

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    By the same token didn't the POTUS and the democratic party say they would get folks back to work and cut the deficit?