North Carolinians are strongly opposed to the cuts in education that legislative Republicans have proposed and as a result the new GOP majority is now less popular with the voters than the Democrats they replaced just a few months ago.
40% of voters have a favorable opinion of the Democrats in the General Assembly now compared to only 34% who view the Republicans positively. 43% have an unfavorable opinion of both the Democrats and the Republicans. The GOP's favorability is down a net 8 points from March when it broke down 38% positive and 39% negative. Since then the party's grown more unpopular with independents, going from a 37% unfavorable rating to 47% while holding steady at a 26% positive rating. And even some Republican voters are starting to have their doubts- the favorable number with the GOP base has declined from 73% to 66%.
There are any number of reasons that could be responsible for the declining popularity of the new majority but one thing that's definitely contributing is strong public opposition to the proposed GOP education cuts. Only 22% of voters support an 8.8% cut to the K12 system with 64% opposed. Just 29% support a 10% cut to the community colleges, with 58% opposed. And only an equal 29% support a 15.5% cut to the UNC system with 44% opposed.
Opposition to those cuts in education extends well beyond the Democratic base. Although a plurality of Republican voters does support the proposed UNC cuts, they oppose the K12 cuts by a 47/37 margin and they oppose the community college cuts by a 42/40 margin. With the independents whose strong support for Republican candidates last fall fueled the new GOP majority there is considerably stronger opposition- 68/18 against the K12 cuts, 65/28 against the community college cuts, and 42/35 against the UNC cuts.
The end result of this disintegrating popularity for the Republican majority is that if we had a legislative election today it would be an extremely close fought battle for control. The generic ballot is a tie with 45% of voters saying they'd choose a Democrat right now and 45% saying they'd go with a Republican. That represents an 11 point shift toward the Democrats since last fall's election- PPP's final generic ballot measure last fall came out at 51% of voters planning to go Republican to only 40% who supported Democrats. If things continue on this path GOP control of the legislature may be a short lived experiment.
Full results here