HPU Poll: NC Voters on Contraceptive and Same Sex Marriage Supreme Court Decisions and Other Issues

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 28, 2014 – The High Point University Poll finds that a majority (51 percent) of North Carolina likely and actual voters disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow companies not to pay for prescription birth control in their workers’ health plans if the company’s owner has religious objections. Additionally, a majority (60 percent) oppose court decisions requiring North Carolina to recognize same sex marriages.

Forty percent of likely and actual voters approve of the court’s decision to allow some privately held for-profit companies not to pay for coverage of contraceptives. Overall, the men and women polled on this issue disagree. While 45 percent of men approve of the decision, only 36 percent of women approve.

In North Carolina, 36 percent either strongly or somewhat favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 58 percent either strongly or somewhat oppose it. Similarly, 37 percent approve of court decisions requiring North Carolina to recognize same sex marriage, while 60 percent disapprove of the ruling.

Other questions included in the poll gathered opinions on the issues of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, college athlete pay and personal finances.

Regarding the 2010 healthcare reform law, a majority (55 percent) oppose the legislation, while 38 percent favor it.

Beyond any scholarships they receive, one quarter of North Carolinians support paying salaries to college athletes. Sixty-four percent oppose paying them salaries and 11 percent are unsure.

When asked whether they were doing better or worse financially than a year ago, 45 percent say they are worse off. Less than one-third (31 percent) say they are doing better.

 

Likely and actual voters – Same sex marriage approval

Generally speaking, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally?

Strongly favor – 23 percent

Somewhat favor – 13 percent

Somewhat oppose – 14 percent

Strongly oppose – 44 percent

Not sure – 6 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 802 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

Likely and actual voters – Court decisions on marriage amendment

During the 2012 primary election, voters approved an amendment to the North Carolina constitution that says the state will not recognize same-sex marriages. But now, courts have ruled that North Carolina must recognize same-sex marriages. Do you approve or disapprove of courts requiring North Carolina to recognize same sex marriage?

Approve – 37 percent

Disapprove – 60 percent

Not sure – 4 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 802 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

Likely and actual voters – Contraceptive coverage

The Supreme Court decided that privately held for-profit companies may choose NOT to pay for coverage of prescription birth control in their workers’ health plans if the company’s owner has religious objections. Do you approve or disapprove of the Court’s decision in this case?

Approve – 40 percent

Disapprove – 51 percent

Not sure – 9 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 802 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

Likely and actual voters – Healthcare reform law

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 – 38 percent

Oppose – 55 percent

Not sure – 7 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 802 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

Likely and actual voters – College athlete pay

Beyond any scholarships they receive, do you support or oppose paying salaries to college athletes?

Support – 25 percent

Oppose – 64 percent

Not sure – 11 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 801 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.4 percent)

 

Likely and actual voters – Personal finances

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 – 31 percent

Worse off – 45 percent

Neither better nor worse – 23 percent

Not sure – 1 percent

(North Carolina likely and actual voter sample surveyed between Oct. 21 and 25, n = 802 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 3.5 percent)

 

The High Point University Survey Research Center contracted SurveyUSA to interview 862 state of North Carolina registered voters Oct. 21 through Oct. 25, 2014, using Registration Based Sample (aka Voter List Sample) purchased from Aristotle in Washington, D.C. To be included in the sample, a voter needed to have voted in both 2010 and 2012, or needed to have newly registered to vote thereafter. Of the 862 registered voters, 802 were determined to be likely to vote or had already voted in person or by absentee ballot in the Nov. 4, 2014 general election. Approximately 10 percent of the respondents said they had already voted. This research was conducted 100 percent by telephone. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (72 percent of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28 percent of likely voters) were contacted by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the respondent’s cooperation, qualified the respondent, conducted the interview, and remained on the phone until the call was completed. Crosstabs of this study are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2014/10/PDF-North-Carolina-Political.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SurveyResearchCenter and Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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