The budget passed by the North Carolina General Assembly last week is very unpopular- not just with voters statewide but also with the constituents of Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
Only 23% of voters across the state support the budget to 41% who are opposed and 36% with no opinion. It is only marginally more popular in Tillis' district, where 24% of voters favor it to 41% opposed, and in Berger's district, where 27% support it with 44% in opposition.
The reason the budget's so unpopular is that Democrats and independents are strongly opposed to it, while Republicans are pretty evenly divided. Statewide Democrats are against it by a 36 point margin (15/51) and independents are by an 18 point spread (23/41) while Republicans support it by only 6 points (33/27).
Democrats and independents in the districts of the Republican leaders express similar levels of opposition to the budget. What's more notable in those though is that even GOP voters don't support what the General Assembly passed- in Berger's district Republicans are evenly divided on the budget at 35% and in Tillis' they actually oppose it by a 33/26 margin.
Cuts to education are at the center of voter opposition to the budget. Statewide only 36% of voters think that it's most important to end the temporary one cent sales tax compared to 50% who think it's more vital to minimize cuts to education spending. The numbers are similar in Berger's district where 53% of voters think it's more important to protect education vs. 36% who think it's more important to roll back the sales tax and in Tillis' where 51% side with education to 41% for reducing the sales tax.
The big winner in all of this may be Governor Perdue. When we asked voters in February whether they had more faith in her or Legislative Republicans to run the state, they picked the legislators by a 44-37 margin. Now Perdue has the 42-40 advantage on that question, including a 40-37 edge with independents. Perdue is still unpopular but over the course of the last four months the new GOP majorities in the General Assembly have managed to make themselves even more unpopular. The budget veto should be a political winner for Perdue.
Full results here