The General Assembly has its work cut out

You know that scene at the Oscars years ago when Sally Field won and emoted “You like me! Right now, you really me!”

Yeah, well, General Assembly? Don’t expect much of that love from your constituents.

In the latest Elon University Poll, 41 percent of those surveyed said they disapproved of the Legislature’s job performance; 33 percent approved and 26 percent didn’t know.

Naturally, because this is politics, it broke down party lines:

* Republicans — 44 percent approved; 28 percent disapproved

* Democrats — 25 percent approved; 55 percent disapproved

* Independents — 31 percent approved; 37 percent disapproved

“Despite tepid feelings of the General Assembly as a whole, most legislators have little to be concerned with in terms of their own districts,” Assistant Poll Director Jason Husser said. “Just like their counterparts in Congress, individual Senators and Representatives are almost always inoculated against public scorn directed at their institution.”

While the numbers look harsh at first blush, here is the bright side. A year ago, only 27 percent of respondents approved of the way the legislators were doing their job. On the other hand, in March 2011, the solons had an approval rating of 39 percent.

Bear in mind that the legislature has only been in session for a little more than a month. Republicans control both the Senate and the House for the first time in years. The GOP has made a lot of noise as bills have been introduced, but not many have passed yet. So, the approval ratings may not mean much until North Carolinians get a sense of how aggressive the GOP is going to be.

— John Robinson

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