The News&Observer declared yesterday that the Legislature has been 'leaning to the left' this year based on the passage of a number of bills that 'push liberal ideas.'
That was news to me. The good news is that we've polled on almost every individual issue they named, and the results have shown these initiatives have support across the ideological spectrum of North Carolina voters.
-On comprehensive sex ed: 88% of liberals, 75% of moderates, and 58% of conservatives in support as well as 80% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and 54% of Republicans.
-On specifically naming sexual orientation as something kids need to be protected against bullying for: 91% of liberals, 73% of moderates, and 55% of conservatives in support as well as 86% of Democrats, 62% of independents, and 51% of Republicans.
-On the smoking ban: 72% of liberals, 65% of moderates, and 60% of conservatives in support as well as 68% of Democrats, 62% of Republicans, and 58% of independents.
-On a more wide ranging plastic bag ban than the one that ended up passing: Democrats with 51/26 support, independents with 54/32 support, and Republicans with 39/36 support (we didn't ask ideology on that particular survey.)
Legislative Republicans have largely opposed these measures- which just shows that they are operating to the right even of their party's rank and file members across the state. The widespread support in the court of public opinion for these initiatives shows that they are pretty mainstream. I think the premise of a leftward tilt in the General Assembly implied by the story is pretty flawed.