Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NC budget unpopularity continues to grow

The public continues to react negatively to much of what the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly put forward. The latest thing voters have turned against is the proposed Congressional redistricting maps: only 25% support them to 37% who are opposed and 37% who have no opinion. Predictably Republicans support the new districts and Democrats are against them- what turns the overall numbers against the lines is 37/26 opposition from independents. A plurality of voters in every region of the state dislikes the current proposal.

Voter dissent on redistricting is a minor headache for North Carolina Republicans compared to continued unhappiness with the budget they passed over Bev Perdue's veto last month though. Our June poll found 23% in the state supporting the GOP budget to 41% opposed. Now public opinion has moved even further in opposition to it with just 20% supportive and 47% opposed. It's no surprise Democrats are against the budget by a 56/14 margin and independents breaking against it by a 46/26 one isn't shocking either. Where the numbers are really eye catching is with Republicans- only 26% support it to 35% opposed.

Why are voters so firmly against the budget? The jobs issue is a big one- only 18% think the budget passed last month will create them while 45% think it will lead to job losses. And those job losses are hitting close to home for a lot of voters. 48% in the state say they know someone or have themselves been laid off or forced to retire from a teaching or state or local government job in the last six months.

It all adds up to very bad numbers for the Republicans in the General Assembly. Only 33% of voters have a favorable opinion of them to 45% with a negative one. And although most voters don't know enough about Thom Tillis or Phil Berger to have an opinion about them personally those who do rate them poorly- 16/30 for Tillis and 12/27 for Berger.

And yet for all that the generic legislative ballot in the state is tied at 43%, representing movement in the wrong direction for Democrats from last month when they led 46-41. That's because as unpopular as the Republicans are, voters still aren't seeing the Legislative Democrats as a real appealing alternative. Their favorability comes out to a 36/44 spread, including an awful 22/49 breakdown with independents. Democrats have succeeded greatly in tearing down the Republicans. Now the challenge is to build themselves up in the eyes of the voters as well.

Full results here

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