Listen up, N.C. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger:
The people of North Carolina are not happy with the way the General Assembly is doing business. Not. Happy. At. All.
In the latest Elon University Poll, 53% of North Carolinians said they disapprove of how you are doing your job. Only 27% said they like it. To demonstrate how dramatically you’ve declined in the eyes of your fellow citizens, in response to the same question 11 months ago, 41% disapproved of you and 39% approved.
It’s probably not surprising. After years of Democratic control, both the Senate and the House went over to the Republicans in November 2010. People said the wanted change, and the GOP took them at their word. The legislature grappled with the governor over the budget, over taxes, over education. They slashed costs, which also meant they cut programs that many people liked. They held barely-announced post-midnight sessions to push bills through. They put the same-sex marriage ban amendment on the ballot. In Guilford County, they pushed through a county commissioner redistricting that left 43,000 residents without representation on the board of commissioners. And when confronted with the issue, chose to ignore it.
Who knows how this will play out in the May primary or November general election. But as Mark Binker of the News & Record reported last week, Statewide, 31 of 50 Senate races are contested. Republicans are virtually guaranteed to win 11 seats because there is no Democrat filed. Democrats have a similar guarantee in 8 districts because there is no Republican.
– John Robinson