Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NC Republicans falling out of favor

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


Anonymous said...

Well, that didn't take long at all! Finally, this great state is beginning to wake up!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think this is good news for the Republicans. If 45% still support Republicans after all the cuts,not bad. They will retain control of the General Assembly. The problem in my opinion is the head of the ticket from the Governor and the President. This will spell defeat in November 2012.

Mark B. said...

I just want to say thanks again for doing the generic leg. question. I want to see more of those in every state!

Anonymous said...

I have long argued that once the voters of NC actually discovered what this disaster of a budget says, the Republican brand name will be as toxic as the Fukashima plant in Japan.

They are losing people left and right due to the cuts in the public schools alone. Lee County is openly discussing ending athletics. Johnston County is talking about cutting $4 million in teachers IF the budget is better than they expect. This is not including ending Governor's School, gutting public health, and pushing through all of the draconian social *tea party* bills.

Granted, Bev isn't doing anything to help herself. I think the best the Dems can hope is that she is defeated by a stronger candidate in the primary.

Anonymous said...

For me, eventhough, I am not the happiest with Mrs. Perdue, I will hold my nose and gladly vote for her next year, v/s any Republican.

Todd Dugdale said...

Anonymous wrote:
"If 45% still support Republicans after all the cuts,not bad."

An 11-point shift since November, according to the post. And you think it won't continue to shift...why?
The pain from these cuts isn't even apparent yet. I'd like to see these numbers in January or February.

NRH said...

I agree with Mark B. The legislative control question is interesting in its own right, and an excellent indicator of any state's mood.

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher and a socially conservative voter. I will NOT vote for Republicans who are launching this attack on public education and teachers.

Anonymous said...

If, you don't want to see the school budgets cut, then start sending them your money. Times are hard in NC and America and everyone needs to bear some of the burden as President Obama has stated. Step of to the plate and help your community instead of bitching. It took many decades for our country to reach the edge of the Abyss and it won't be easy saving this country. Once the economy collapses and there is rampant crime and rioting in the streets, you won't be worried about school funding anymore!

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