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HPU Poll: North Carolinians Negative on Economy, Health Care and Taxes

02.6.2013

High Point University National PollHIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 5, 2013 – A new HPU Poll finds that more than one third – 37 percent – of North Carolinians say they are worse off than they were a year ago.

And many do not support the recent tax and health care policies coming out of Washington, D.C., with 57 percent saying that they think the tax deal passed to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff will hurt people like them, and 52 percent saying they do not favor the health care reform passed by Congress and signed by the president in 2010.

“Our results show that many North Carolinians are more pessimistic than they were at this time last year,” said Dr. Sadie Leder, associate director of the HPU Poll. A previous HPU Poll released March 2012 found only 15 percent of people who thought they would be worse off today, but today 37 percent say they are worse off than a year ago.  “Not only are economic conditions worse than North Carolina residents had anticipated, but their outlook for the future is more negative.”

Economic condition questions – all adults

We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days.  Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

Better off – 32 percent

Worse off – 37 percent

(Same or Neither better nor worse)  – 29 percent

(Don’t know/refused) – 1 percent

Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?

Better off – 31 percent

Worse off – 21 percent

Just about the same as now – 43 percent

(Don’t know/refused) – 5 percent

(all adults surveyed Jan. 27-31, n = 668 and  margin of sampling error = +/- 3.8 percent)

Prospective Economic conditions – all adults (March 2012)

Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now?

Better off – 31 percent

Worse off – 15 percent

Just about the same as now – 48 percent

(Don’t know/refused) – 6 percent

(all adults surveyed Feb. 19-23 and Feb. 25-28, n = 384 and  margin of sampling error = +/- 5  percent)

Health care law – all adults

As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country’s health care system became law in 2010. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?

Favor – 37 percent

Oppose – 52 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 11 percent

Some people have said that parts of the health care law that require businesses to offer health insurance for their employees will cause some employers to lay off workers or change worker contracts to avoid providing insurance.  Have you or someone you know been affected by the health care law in this way?

Yes – 27 percent

No – 71 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 3 percent

(all adults surveyed Jan. 27-31, n = 668 and  margin of sampling error = +/- 3.8 percent)

Taxes – all adults

As you may know, Congress and the president have passed new legislation on taxes. From what you’ve read and heard, do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of this tax legislation?

Strongly approve – 2 percent

Approve – 26 percent

(Neither approve nor disapprove) – 6 percent

Disapprove – 35 percent

Strongly disapprove – 18 percent

(Don’t know/refuse) – 13 percent

Thinking ahead, do you think this tax legislation will mostly help or hurt people like yourself?

Help – 23 percent

Hurt – 57 percent

Make no difference – 10

Don’t know/refuse – 11

(all adults surveyed Jan. 27-31, n = 668 and  margin of sampling error = +/- 3.8 percent)

“North Carolinians begin the year with a negative view of a lot of the policies they see coming out of Washington, D.C.,” said HPU Poll director Dr. Martin Kifer. “As economic conditions change and Congress and the president deal with additional budgetary challenges, we will be watching to see how North Carolinians react.”

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 27-31, 2013. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 668 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 3.8 percentage points. The data are weighted when appropriate toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://src.highpoint.edu/

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Dr. Sadie Leder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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