HPU Poll: No Apparent Increase in Obama and Others’ Job Approval

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 30, 2015 – The new HPU Poll finds that 39 percent of North Carolina residents approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance. The poll places Gov. Pat McCrory’s job performance at 44 percent. Fifty-two percent and 36 percent disapprove of President Obama and Gov. McCrory’s job performance, respectively.

In late February, the HPU Poll registered approval ratings of 43 percent for President Obama and 47 percent for Gov. McCrory.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have job approval ratings of 30 and 31 percent. It has often been the case this year that many North Carolinians are unwilling to offer an opinion on the two senators. Thirty-nine percent of North Carolina adults expressed no opinion one way or another on Sen. Burr’s job performance, and almost a third of respondents (29 percent) said they did not know or refused to comment on Sen. Tillis’ performance in office.

The poll also finds only about one out of five (21 percent) of the same respondents believe the country is headed in the right direction, versus almost two-thirds (65 percent) of North Carolina residents who see the country as being on the wrong track. This is very similar to what the last HPU Poll found. In late February of this year, the HPU Poll reported that 23 percent of North Carolinians believed the country was headed in the right direction, versus 65 percent of North Carolina residents who saw the country as being on the wrong track.

“We have not been seeing much change in the President or other elected officials’ ratings,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “In the future there could be a more drastic break in one direction or another, but there is not much reason to believe that public views of these officials are going anywhere fast.”

All adults – Presidential job approval (March 2015)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president?

Approve – 39 percent

Disapprove – 52 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 9 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

All adults – Governor job approval (March 2015)

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

Approve – 44 percent

Disapprove – 36 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 20 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

All adults – Senator Burr job approval (March 2015)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Richard Burr is handling his job as United States Senator?

Approve – 30 percent

Disapprove – 31 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 39 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

All adults – Senator Tillis job approval (March 2015)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Thom Tillis is handling his job as United States Senator?

Approve – 31 percent

Disapprove – 41 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 29 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

All adults – country direction (March 2015)

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 21 percent

Wrong track – 65 percent

Don’t know/refused – 14 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 21 – 26, 2015, n = 574 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.1 percent)

All adults – Presidential job approval (Late February 2015)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president?

Approve – 43 percent

Disapprove – 48 percent

Don’t know/refused – 9 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 21 – 26, 2015, n = 513 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.3 percent)

All adults – Governor job approval (Late February 2015)

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

Approve – 47 percent

Disapprove – 36 percent

Don’t know/refused – 16 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 21 – 26, 2015, n = 513 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.3 percent)

All adults – Senator Burr job approval (Late February 2015)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Richard Burr is handling his job as United States Senator?

Approve – 30 percent

Disapprove – 28 percent

Don’t know/refused – 42 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 21 – 26, 2015, n = 513 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.3 percent)

All adults – Senator Tillis job approval (Late February 2015)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Senator Tillis is handling his job as United States Senator?

Approve – 27 percent

Disapprove – 39 percent

Don’t know/refused – 34 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 21 – 26, 2015, n = 513 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.3 percent)

All adults – country direction (Late February 2015)

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 23 percent

Wrong track – 65 percent

Don’t know/refused – 13 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Feb. 21 – 26, 2015, n = 513 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.3 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on March 21 – March 26, 2015. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 574 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 4.1 percentage points for all adult 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. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2015/03/37memoA.pdf.

The February 2015 HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Feb. 21-26, 2015. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 513 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 4.3 percentage points for all adult 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. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2015/03/36memoA.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.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative.  For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on 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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