HPU/News and Record Poll: North Carolinians Favor Policy Made at State Level

Posted on:

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 8, 2017 – The first High Point University/News and Record Poll of 2017 finds that North Carolinians generally favor the state government establishing a statewide standard on a series of policy issues, including discrimination, minimum wage, and environmental protection, instead of cities making their own rules.

The new poll asked a representative sample of North Carolinians whether they believe the state of North Carolina should allow cities to set several kinds of policies for themselves or set the same standards for all cities. In all three policy areas—minimum wage rates, anti-discrimination ordinances, and environmental protection measures—large majorities of respondents prefer a uniform state standard.

Four out of five North Carolinians (80 percent) said that anti-discrimination legislation was better set at the state level rather than the local level (9 percent).

Slightly more than three-quarters of North Carolina residents (77 percent) say that environmental protections measures should be set for all cities at the state level rather than cities setting the policy for themselves. 

Almost three quarters (73 percent) of North Carolinians say the state should set minimum wage rates, compared to 19 percent who say that cities should be allowed to set these types of rates.

“When looking specifically at state versus local responsibilities on this set of policies, North Carolina residents clearly favor a state standard over city-specific standards if given the choice,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “Of course, this does not take into account the content of the policy. We see this on many issues. For partisan or ideological reasons, people might not like the policy their city or the state of North Carolina establishes even if they think the decision is being made at the appropriate level.”


All adults – State or city control over policy (January/February 2017)

I am going to read a list of kinds of policies that might be set at the state or the local level.  For each one, please tell me whether you believe that the state of North Carolina should allow cities to set each of these kinds of policies for themselves or should the state set the same standards for all cities:

Anti-discrimination ordinances

State should set policy – 80 percent

Cities should set policies – 9 percent

Both – 5 percent

Don’t know/refused – 5 percent



Environmental protection measures

State should set policy – 77 percent

Cities should set policies – 14 percent

Both – 5 percent

Don’t know/refused – 4 percent



Minimum wage rates

State should set policy – 73 percent

Cities should set policies – 19 percent

Both – 5 percent

Don’t know/refused – 3 percent



(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2017, n = 405 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 2017. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 405 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The registered voter subsample relied on responses from the participants about their own registration status and yielded a total of 373 respondents. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.9 percentage points for all adult respondents and an approximate margin of sampling error of 5.1 percent for the self-described registered voters. The data is weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender, race, and party identification. 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/2017/02/50memoB.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, 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.

Share Button

Related Posts