Thursday, February 19, 2009

O Civitas...

My friend Chris Hayes blogs that when it comes to polling on the smoking ban, it's all about how you word the question in explaining why our companies have generated different results. He's exactly right.

The question we asked dealt directly with the bill being pushed by Majority Leader Hugh Holliman in the General Assembly this session:
Currently being considered in the legislature is a bill that would ban smoking in restaurants and public places, with very few exemptions. Do you support a ban on smoking in public places?
We found 64% support from North Carolina voters.

The question Civitas asked is:
Would you support or oppose legislation allowing a restaurant, bar or tavern owner to decide their own smoking policy as long as the policy was clearly posted at the entrance to their business?
They found 62% support from North Carolina voters.

Here's the thing though: Civitas is trying to change the topic. The Majority Leader is pushing a bill to do what we asked about, not what Civitas asked about. Those guys over there are smart so it's not like they don't understand this. They know public opinion is not with them on this one so they're trying to blur things by polling on a different issue than the one one of the most powerful legislators in the state is pushing.

Here's the bottom line though: every poll that's been conducted over the last three years that dealt directly with what Holliman's trying to make happen has shown strong public support for it. That doesn't necessarily count for anything over at the General Assembly, but it is the truth.

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