Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Checking into North Carolina

Public Policy Polling is based out of North Carolina, so they do quite a bit of polling in their home state.


Senator Kay Hagan is up for re-election in 2014. She has made some politically controversial statements recently. She has come out in support of same sex marriage. Despite the fact that North Carolina effectively banned same sex marriage in 2012, Hagan's favorability numbers stayed around the same since the last time they polled. They found her at 39/37 now compared to 42/39 a month ago.

In the Republican primary for the Senate in 2014, there's not a clear favorite. The top vote getters were Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry (18%), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (13%), Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (12%), and State Senate Leader Phil Berger (11%). 32% of Republican primary voters are either not sure who they would like to see as the Republican nominee or would like to see someone else than Public Policy Polling listed. Hagan leads all of those candidates in head to head match-ups, but some fare a little better than others.

The biggest challenger at this point is Cherie Berry (32/18). Berry trails Hagan 46-41 with 13% not sure at this point. Berry has plenty of time to make her appeal to half the voters and make up that ground. The closest after that is Renee Ellmers (20/26) trails Hagan 48-40. A net favorability of -6 is not very good, even with the majority of people not having an opinion. Virginia Foxx (23/27) is the 3rd strongest candidate and arguably is the 2nd strongest. She trails Hagan 48-39 in a head to head match-up. The weakest of the candidates from the Republican primary is Phil Berger (10/33). He trails Hagan by the same margin as Foxx. His favorability is so low that it's hard to see how he would be a good candidate to run against Hagan. The 2014 Senate race in North Carolina could be interesting if Berry or Ellmers runs but right now Hagan is the favorite. I'll put it in the lean Democratic side, for now.


Senator Richard Burr's favorability is net negative at this point (36/38).

First-term governor Pat McCrory has maintained his popularity with a favorability of 49/36.

Hillary Clinton is fairly popular in North Carolina but if she ran in 2016, North Carolina would remain a swing state. Clinton leads Marco Rubio 49-42 in a hypothetical match-up and Rand Paul 52-40. These are not dominant performances but suggest that Clinton would win the state, although it would be close.

State Legislature

Republicans in North Carolina's state legislature have gotten some notoriety for trying to push through some unpopular bills. Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature have a 34/53 favorability compared to Democrats in the North Carolina Legislature (34/44). Not surprisingly, this largely falls on party lines. Democrats are tougher on their own party in the state legislature with a favorability of 55/23. Republicans support their Republican Legislature members a bit better, 62/24 favorability. Independents are not fond of either, but there is more disapproval coming towards the Republican party than the Democratic party. No surprise that the Democrats lead a generic legislative ballot 45-41 at this point.

Perhaps the most controversial bill that got national attention was the bill that would establish Christianity as the state's religion. But it's not that unpopular in North Carolina, 42% support it while 45% oppose it. It's getting almost all of its support from the the more conservative part of North Carolina voters. 51% of those who say they are somewhat conservative support it and 68% of those who say they are very conservative support it. Women (45/42), in general, support this bill more than men (38/48). The bill was later killed.

There's a bill on the table that prohibits parents from claiming children registered to vote at college as dependents on their tax returns. It's not a very popular bill. 25% of those polled said they would support it, compared to 57% who said they would oppose it. Most of this support comes from the very conservative North Carolina voters as 36% of them say they would support the bill. 26% of those who are “somewhat conservative” support such a bill.

There is overwhelming opposition to a bill that would allow lobbyists to give gifts to legislators. Only 6% support it, while 88% oppose it. The liberals in North Carolina are the ones who support this one more than normal, with 7% of those who claim to be very liberal supporting it and 12% who claim to be somewhat liberal supporting it.

Another fairly unpopular bill is one that would eliminate North Carolina's renewable energy standards for power companies. 22% support it compared to 39% who oppose it. Much of the support comes from the conservative North Carolinians. 34% of very conservative voters support the bill and 23% of somewhat conservatives support the bill. Men (27/37) seem to support the bill more than women (17/41).

There is a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for law enforcement officials to enforce federal gun laws on firearms made in North Carolina. 28% support it while 42% oppose it. Who supports such a law? You guessed it, Liberals in North Carolina. 44% of those who are “very liberal” support the bill and 29% of somewhat liberals support the bill. If this makes no sense to you, you are not alone. I'm so confused by this, I'm moving on to the next thing.

A bill that aims to curb the amount of early voting days from 17 to 10 does not have much support, 33% are in favor while 59% oppose it. The conservative North Carolinians are vastly in support of such a bill, with 49% of those who consider themselves somewhat conservative in favor, and 62% of those who are very conservative support it. The majority of Republicans (51/42) support shortening the number of early voting days.

A Republican legislator suggested that prayer to Allah should be considered an act of terrorism. Luckily, only 16% of North Carolinians agree with this, while 67% disagree. The number of Republicans who consider it an act of terrorism is 25%. 29% of those who are very conservative consider it an act of terrorism. 16% of very liberal voters think it is, too. Those liberals in North Carolina are strange.

The North Carolina Senate has proposed a bill that would eliminate tax deductions for businesses when they donate to charity. Individuals get tax deductions for donations to religious groups. 28% think this is fair while 49% say it is not fair. 33% of very liberal North Carolinians say it is fair. Democrats in North Carolina (33/39) think this is fair, higher than Republicans (28/59).


As a state, North Carolina is in favor of an assault weapons ban (52/40). This falls along party and ideological lines with Democrats or liberals in favor and conservatives or Republicans not in favor. Women (59/32) support an assault weapons ban more than men (43/50). North Carolinians are in favor of Congress passing stricter gun laws (54/38). Once again, this falls neatly along party and ideological lines with women (59/33) supporting this more than men (48/43). This suggests that there are people who might support other gun control laws, such as background checks or gun safety, etc. over an assault weapons ban.

North Carolinians are also slightly in favor of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (45/40). This, too, falls on the same party and ideological lines as gun control. That's the biggest deciding factor in support or opposition to a path to citizenship.

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