Monday, March 22, 2010

The Politics of Road Money in NC

There's something North Carolinians across party lines and in every part of the state agree on: they all think they're getting the short end of the stick on money for roads. We find that 55% of voters think their area does not get its fair share of road money to only 23% who think their section does.

The Charlotte area tends to be the loudest in complaining about inequity, and the numbers bear that out. 69% of voters there think they don't get the money they should to only 12% who believe they do. But voters in eastern North Carolina- which many urbanites think gets too much money- also think they're being treated unfairly. Only 22% there think they're getting what they deserve to 54% who disagree. The only region that comes anywhere close to saying it's getting what it wants is the Triangle, where 38% say the area is getting what it deserves to 40% who disagree.

These numbers speak to one of the fatal errors Pat McCrory made in his Gubernatorial campaign two years ago. He was too vocal in complaining about Charlotte's share of road money, not understanding that voters everywhere in the state think they're being sold short. That gave Bev Perdue's campaign an easy issue with rural voters in the east and the mountains, telling them that McCrory was going to hurt them for the good of the cities. Harping on road money is good for a legislative candidate who only needs to appeal to voters in one area, but it proved to be dumb politics at the state level.

58% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans think their area deserves more money, speaking to the fact that this is something voters agree on across party lines.

Full results here

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