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HPU/News and Record Poll: NC Residents Split on Governor and Legislature’s Actions in Raleigh

10.2.2013
In: News

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 2, 2013 – A new HPU Poll finds North Carolina residents are split on their support for the laws that Gov. Pat McCrory and the state General Assembly have passed this year. But North Carolina residents expressed more approval of McCrory and the General Assembly as a whole than the U.S. Congress.

A total of 41 percent approve and 43 percent disapprove of the laws that McCrory signed into law this year. There was also no majority position when the poll asked about whether respondents would like the legislature and governor to pass more conservative or liberal laws. Thirty-two percent said pass more conservative laws, 29 percent said pass more liberal laws, and 20 percent said the laws they are passing are fine the way they are.

When asked, however, if most people they know approve or disapprove of the newly signed legislation, a slight majority – 51 percent – say that they believe most of the people they know disapprove of the laws. Thirty-one percent say they believe most people they know approve of the laws, 3 percent said neither, and 16 percent said that they did not know or refused to answer.

There was also no clear majority on whether the passage of these laws was good for North Carolina’s reputation in the rest of the country. While only 18 percent said that these laws would be good for North Carolina’s reputation, 35 percent – just more than a third of respondents – said that they would be bad for North Carolina’s reputation. The largest percentage of respondents – 36 percent – said that the new laws will not make much difference either way in North Carolina’s reputation.

And although McCrory’s approval rating is 38 percent and the approval rating of the General Assembly is 36 percent, the rating for the U.S. Congress is much lower at 15 percent.

“There has been a lot of discussion of what political activists think about the new laws Gov. McCrory has signed and what message the recent policy shifts send to the rest of the country,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and assistant professor of political science. “These questions examine what North Carolinians think of this new direction, and there does not seem to be an extreme reaction one way or the other. North Carolinians are neither particularly proud of nor particularly embarrassed by the new laws coming out of Raleigh this year.”

All Adults – Introduction and Approval of New Legislation

Now I am going to ask you some questions about what government officials have been doing in Raleigh. During the most recent legislative session in Raleigh, the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor McCrory have been very successful in passing legislation that supports their social and economic goals.

Overall, would you say that you approve or disapprove of the legislation that the Governor has signed into law this year?

Approve – 41 percent
Disapprove – 43 percent
Neither – 6 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 11 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All Adults – Want more conservative or more liberal laws

Would you like the legislature and governor to pass more conservative laws in Raleigh than they are now, pass more liberal laws than they are now, or are the laws they are passing fine the way they are?

More conservative laws – 32 percent
Laws they are passing are fine the way they are – 20 percent
More liberal laws – 29 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 19 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All Adults – What people they know think about new laws

Would you say that most people you know approve or disapprove of the legislation the Governor has signed into law this year?

Approve – 31 percent
Disapprove – 51 percent
Neither – 3 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 16 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All Adults – North Carolina reputation impact of laws

Do you think that the passage of these new laws will be GOOD for North Carolina’s overall reputation in the rest of the country, BAD for North Carolina’s reputation, or not make much difference one way or the other?

Good for North Carolina’s reputation – 18 percent
Bad for North Carolina’s reputation – 35 percent
Won’t make much difference either way – 36 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 11 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All adults – Governor job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Pat McCrory is handling his job as governor?

Approve – 38 percent
Disapprove – 46 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 17 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All adults – U.S. Congress job approval

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?

Approve – 15 percent
Disapprove – 77 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 8 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

All adults – N.C. General Assembly job approval

And what about legislators in Raleigh? Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the North Carolina General Assembly is handling its job?

Approve – 36 percent
Disapprove – 45 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 19 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Sept. 22 – 26, 2013, n = 447 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.7 percent)

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sept. 22 – 26. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 447 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 4.7 percentage points for these respondents. The data are weighted 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 Elder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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