Even more Elon Poll in the news

Daily AdvanceGreenville Daily Reflector and the Robesonian — The latest Elon University Poll finds that just 28 percent of North Carolinians approve of the job the General Assembly is doing. You might think that would worry Republican legislative leaders who control the House and Senate. There’s an election in November after all and the miserably low approval numbers could mean trouble for Republicans at the polls. But it’s almost a certainty that they won’t.

The Federalist — …but Senator Kay Hagan’s approval numbers, if the latest Elon poll is to be believed, are radioactive at just 33%. Thom Tillis, the front runner in the Republican primary, may not be well liked either, but his numbers, infact, even President Obama’s, are healthier than the embattled senator. We forecast a loss approaching ten points for Pryor, and just over five points for Hagan now.

Duke Chronicle — Hagan’s approval rating is at its lowest yet—with only one-third of North Carolina registered voters approving of her job performance, according to the latest Elon University poll. Hagan is the only politician in the poll whose rating dropped since November.

The Pendulum — Last week, the Elon University Poll surveyed people across North Carolina about their opinion on state and national leadership as well as social issues.

Fayetteville Observer — An Elon University poll released last week shows that only a third of N.C. registered voters approve of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s job performance. And 49 percent, the pollster said, disapprove of her performance. It’s her worst rating in an Elon poll in a year.

More Elon Poll in the news

The Washington Post — There’s good news and bad news for proponents of legalizing marijuana. The bad news: New polls show it’s a losing fight in three states — by a slim margin in Pennsylvania and sizable margins in Iowa and North Carolina. The good news? It’s doing far better among the youngest residents of each state. That’s according to new polls out Monday from Quinnipiac University (Pennsylvania), the Des Moines Register (Iowa) and Elon University (North Carolina).

Fox News — A new poll from Elon University finds Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., only receives 55 percent approval amongst Democrats, down from 63 in November. Overall, 49 percent of Tar Heel state voters disapprove of Hagan. This is Hagan’s fourth straight drop in approval.

N.C. Policy Watch — The latest Elon University Poll finds North Carolinians unhappy with many of the incumbents representing them in Washington and in Raleigh. The February poll found Congress’ approval rating remaining in the single digits (8%). President Barack Obama fared better with an approval rating of 39%, while the majority (over  51%) said they disapprove of the job he is doing.

News & Record — I find it astounding that 38 percent of respondents said they have heard only a little about the coal ash spill into the Dan River that occurred more than a month ago … and 26 percent said they’ve heard nothing.

National Review — North Carolina senator Kay Hagan has seen her approval ratings in the state drop even more — just 33 percent of registered voters approve of the job she’s doing, versus 49 percent disapproving, according to a new poll from Elon University.

Washington Examiner – Approval ratings continue to drop for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is seeking re-election in the key battleground state of North Carolina, according to a new poll.

And briefly, oh so, briefly on Politico.

Congress, the N.C. General Assembly remain unloved

Is it even still news that people don’t like Congress?

According to the Elon Poll, 83% of registered voters in N.C. who responded said they disapproved of Congress. Only 8% approved. That’s essentially unchanged from November.

The N.C. General Assembly fares better, with a 28% approval rating. (46% disapprove and 26% don’t know.) Even though the legislature hasn’t been in session for months, that’s a decline of 4 percentage points from November.

The only significant demographic breakout for the state legislature is the one you’d expect – politics. Thirty-nine percent of Republicans approve of the legislature’s work, compared with 25% of Democrats and 22% of Independents. It makes sense, given that the Republicans control the legislature.

When he campaigns for the U.S. Senate, Thom Tillis may want to avoid trumpeting that he is the speaker of the N.C. House.

– John Robinson

Coal ash spill? What coal ash spill?

Last month’s massive coal ash spill into the Dan River received national publicity by the major television networks and, most recently, in the New York Times. It has been written about frequently by all of the major newspapers in the state. Gov. McCrory’s relationship with Duke Energy and the state’s environmental oversight of the power company has been scrutinized.

So, how informed is the N.C. electorate about the spill? Not, according to the Elon Poll.

Sixty-four percent of registered voters who responded to the poll said they had heard little or nothing about the spill.

The demographic breakdown shows little distinction by political party, gender or race. Age, however, is telling. Eighty percent of the 18-30 age group had heard little or nothing about the spill.  Fifty-two percent of the 65+ age group had heard little or nothing about it. Put another way, 20% of the 18-30 age group knew a lot of the spill, and 48% of the 65+ group does.

Presumably it has to do with the news consumption habits of each group. The older demographic reads newspapers and watches more television news.

– John Robinson

Gay marriage opposition

Gay marriage may be gaining traction in some states but not in North Carolina, according to the Elon Poll.

Fifty percent of registered voters in N.C. oppose making gay marriage legal. Forty percent support it. In 2012, voters approved a constitutional amendment 60%-39% prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Digging into the numbers:

Politics: The largest divide — 48% of Democrats and 47% of Independents support making gay marriage legal, compared with only 22% of Republicans.

Gender: 41% of women and 39% of men support it.

Race: 41% of whites and 36% of African Americans support it.

Age: Predictably, the highest level of support, 56%, comes from the 18-30 age group. The lowest, 26%, from the 65+ age group.

– John Robinson

N.C. opposes legalizing marijuana

Legalized marijuana is in its infancy out west. Don’t expect it to come into North Carolina any time soon, if the politicians pay attention to the Elon Poll results.

Fifty-one percent of respondents oppose legalizing marijuana versus 39% who support it.

Digging deeper into the numbers:

Politics: 43% of Democrats, 47% of Independents and just 23% of Republicans support legalization. Not surprising.

Gender: 46% of men and 32% of women support legalization. If anyone can explain that, have at it.

Race: 39% of whites and 36% of African Americans support legalization. Finally, an issue not divided by race!

Age: If it were left up to  the 18-30 age group, marijuana would be legalized. 54% support it. But it declines in each age group as they get older.

Tillis is gaining name recognition

Rep. Thom Tillis is speaker of the N.C. House and helped led a dramatic right turn in North Carolina politics last year. He is running for the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate, hoping to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan in November.

He has a ways to go, according to the Elon Poll.

Most registered voters in North Carolina (58%) said they don’t recognize his name. And of the 38% who do, only 18% have a favorable impression of him. The good news for Tillis is that in November, 70% of registered voters didn’t recognize his name. (Tillis has run television ads for the past month or so.)

Digging into the numbers:

Politics: Republicans are most familiar with Tillis’s name at 43%, followed by Independents, 37%, and Democrats, 36%. And 29% of the Republicans who know his name have a favorable impression of him, compared with 19% of Independents and 6% of Democrats.

Gender: Men are more familiar with him than women, 42% to 35%. In addition, 23% of the men have a favorable impression; only 13% of women do.

Race: Whites are more familiar with him than African Americans, 43% to 26%. In addition, 21% of the whites have a favorable impression of him; only 7% of African Americans do.

Age: He is best known by the 65-and-up crowd, 57%, but they aren’t the ones who think most favorably of him. Only 19% of the 65+ age group has a good impression of him. 28% of the 31-40 age group does.

It’s still too early to make any predictions. Tillis has to get past the GOP primary before the political battle really begins. It’s also an age-old political truism that voters don’t start  paying any attention to political races until after Labor Day. That gives Tillis time to become more visible and viable as a statewide candidate.

– John Robinson