Generally speaking Democrats in North Carolina have been the party of teachers and state employees, with Republicans much less supportive of those groups and their compensation levels.
That's why it was interesting to see on our poll last week that when it came to the recent furloughs/pay cuts for those groups of workers it was actually the Democrats who were most supportive and the Republicans who were least supportive.
42% of Democrats, 35% of independents, and 29% of Republicans supported the cuts.
Obviously this is a case of the power of the messenger. Most likely more Democrats were supportive because they feel like they should stand behind the initiatives of Bev Perdue, their party's Governor. Republicans are more inclined to inherently oppose such measures just because of the party of who is bringing them forward.
Still, it would seem there might be an unusual opportunity here for Republicans to reach out to these groups of voters. Our poll also found that state employees and teachers are not as universally Democratic as you might expect. 56% of public school teachers in the poll identified as Democrats with 36% Republican and 8% independents. For state employees the breakdown was 56/33/10. It will be interesting to see if the GOP makes any real efforts here to curry favor with these traditionally Democratic constituencies. It may be a while before they have another chance like this.