Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus falls on party lines in NC

North Carolina voters support President Obama's economic stimulus package, 50-39.

The stimulus is a complicated issue, and there are indications within the poll that voters are taking their cues about whether to support it from the Washington politicians speaking for and against the bill. With the President in strong support, so are 80% of Democrats. With Congressional Republicans in opposition, so are 71% of GOP voters in the state. Independents oppose the bill by a 53-33 margin.

The demographics that launched Barack Obama to a surprise victory in North Carolina last fall- African Americans, young voters, and women- are all in strong support of the bill. The ones that almost allowed John McCain to keep the state Republican- white voters and men- are considerably less supportive.

What does that all add up to? Public opinion on the stimulus in North Carolina is probably more a referendum on the President than anything else.

Looking toward 2010 there may be some bad news for Richard Burr, who has opposed the stimulus, in the poll. There are more Republicans- 16%- who support the stimulus than there are Democrats- 11%- who oppose it. And 50% of those surveyed said they would be more likely to reelect a Senator who supported the bill compared to only 41% who said they would be less likely to. This could have been an opportunity for Burr to burnish his credentials as someone who will work across party lines to ensure action on key issues facing the country, and he didn't take it.

Two issues there are a lot less division among North Carolinians about are the bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Only 28% of voters in the state support the former and just 27% express approval of the latter.

Full results here.

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