HPU Poll: Most North Carolinians Say Tariffs Haven’t Financially Impacted Them

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 21, 2018 – A recent High Point University Poll finds that most North Carolinians (53 percent) see free trade agreements as a good thing overall and do not see new tariffs impacting their household budget.

Only 24 percent see free trade agreements as a bad thing, and 23 percent don’t offer an opinion. When asked about their monthly costs, more than half (55 percent) of North Carolinians say that they have not seen any impact from new tariffs and fees on their household budget. Twenty-seven percent said they have seen an impact, while 19 percent did not know or do not offer a response.

Only one-third (34 percent) of North Carolina residents say they have heard or read a lot about the proposals to raise tariffs or impose new fees on products that are imported into the United States from other countries. A majority of respondents (58 percent) say they have read or heard a little or nothing at all about the new tariffs and fees.

Furthermore, about two-thirds (67 percent) of North Carolinians say they worry a little bit or not at all that new tariffs and fees will increase costs on them personally. Only about a quarter (26 percent) worry a lot about tariffs increasing costs.

In other findings, more than half (57 percent) of survey respondents say the United States should take an active part in world affairs, while about one-third (31 percent) think that the U.S. should mostly stay out. Thirteen percent of respondents do not offer a view either way.

“North Carolinians have complex views on how trade agreements affect their daily lives. In this case, majorities are in favor of free trade, but do not see much impact from new tariffs,” says Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll and chair of political science. “As U.S. trade policy evolves, we’ll be checking in periodically to see how North Carolina residents feel about the policies and the effects on their lives.”

All adults – Foreign Affairs (September 2018)

In general, do you think that the United States should take an active part in world affairs or mostly stay out of world affairs?

Active part – 57 percent

Stay out – 31 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 13 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

All adults –Trade Agreements (September 2018)

In general, do you think that free trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries have been a good thing or a bad thing for the United States?

Good thing – 53 percent

Bad thing – 24 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 23 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

All adults – Tariffs (September 2018)

As you may know, there are proposals to raise tariffs or impose new fees on products that are imported into the United States from other countries. How much, if anything, have you read or heard about these new tariffs and fees? Have you heard…

A lot – 34 percent

A little – 44 percent

Nothing at all – 14 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

How much, if at all, do you worry about new tariffs and fees on goods imported into the U.S. will increase costs for you personally?  Would you say you worry not at all, a little bit, or a lot about increased costs to you?

A lot – 18 percent

A little – 49 percent

Nothing at all – 26 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 8 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

Thinking carefully about your monthly costs, do you think you have seen any impact from these new tariffs and fees on your own household budget?

Yes – 27 percent

No – 55 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 19 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 7-13, 2018, n = 827 and credibility interval of +/- 5.4 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Sep. 7-13, 2018 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 827 adults interviewed online (606 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (221 respondents). The registered voter subsample relied on responses from the participants about their own registration status and yielded a total of 734 respondents. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.6 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. 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/2018/09/60memoA.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 https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

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

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