Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton’s campaign is having trouble getting traction, and it appears unlikely that he’s going to be moving into the governor’s mansion in Raleigh in January. In the latest Elon University Poll of likely voters, Republican Pat McCrory is leading Dalton, 52% to 38%. (Eight percent are undecided.)
After three gubernatorial debates, media appearances and television ads, the percentages are basically the same as they were in the Labor Day Elon Poll results, in which McCrory was supported by 52% to Dalton’s 37%.
Dalton’s candidacy is hurt by his lack of general name recognition and the idea that he is too closely aligned with Gov. Bev Perdue, whose popularity isn’t at its highest point. Meanwhile, McCrory, who was the popular mayor of the state’s largest city for 14 years, ran a close race against Perdue four years ago.
Based on the presidential poll results, it also doesn’t appear as if President Obama will have any coattails to lift the Democratic ticket. In 2010, voters elected a GOP-controlled state legislature. Unless things turn around for Dalton over the next week, it appears likely that voters will elect the first Republican governor in 20 years.
— John Robinson
Most Americans, like most North Carolinians, don’t care for all the money flowing into the election process. “More than 8 in 10 Americans in a poll by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center support limits on the amount of money given to groups that are trying to influence U.S. elections”
In the April Elon University Poll, most North Carolina residents said the unions should restrict the amount of money that corporations, associations and individuals can give to campaigns.
But we are a fickle bunch when it comes to government authority and reach.
Most Americans think the government is doing too much, according to our friends at Gallup. “A majority of Americans (54%) continue to believe the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, although that is down from the record high of 61% earlier this summer.”
Meanwhile, the presidential race is coming to North Carolina with a passion. Both the Charlotte Observer and the News & Record in Greensboro document both the ground game and the visits by outsiders politicking for their candidate.
Seems the state is still considered a battleground.
An added note: The Charlotte Observer writes about polling in North Carolina. The Elon University Poll isn’t mentioned — the paper’s loss — but the article describes the various differences in types of polls. (The Elon Poll is independent, doesn’t accept contract business and uses humans for its polling!)
— John Robinson
The presidential race in North Carolina is not the only contest we polled likely voters on. But gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton probably wishes it were.
If the election were held today, Republican Pat McCrory swamps Democrat Dalton among likely voters 52% to 37%. Much of that is name recognition. McCrory, who ran for governor four years ago, has it. Lt. Gov. Dalton doesn’t, at least not yet.
Dalton told the Charlotte Observer that he isn’t worried. “We have plenty of time left; people really have not focused on the race,” he said. “I really don’t go crazy about the polls right now.”
That’s probably a good thing. The conservative-leaning Civitas Poll has McCrory leading with unaffiliated voters, 46% to 29%. The Democratic-leaning PPP has it McCrory 45%-39%.
— John Robinson
The latest PPP poll confirms what the Elon University Poll showed in April: that most North Carolinians think gay couples should be accorded some sort of legal recognition. Of course, the state’s voters didn’t reflect that polling sentiment at the ballot box earlier this month when the marriage amendment was easily approved. (The Elon Poll surveyed N.C. residents with no screen for likely voters.)
From PPP: In another indication that North Carolinians don’t really know what they voted for last week 55% of voters in the state say they support either gay marriage or civil unions.
In addition, while many African-American churches campaigned for passage of the amendment — perhaps sermonized is a better verb — it appears as if President Obama’s post-election support of gay marriage changed some minds. 55% of African-Americans believe same-sex couples should either be allowed to marry or form civil unions, up 11 points from the last statewide same-sex marriage poll, conducted May 6.
Had the president made his pronouncement before the election, would it have changed the amendment result? Probably not, given that the amendment passed by 22% of the vote. Still, it is a powerful indication of the influential voice of this president.
Update: Another opinion from The Atlantic. The reality is that many in the black community are genuinely struggling to reconcile their faith and their politics, and it may take some time for them to fully evolve on marriage equality. But we shouldn’t discount the progress unfolding before our eyes. Any momentum around what has long been a stagnant issue in the black community is change we can believe in.
— John Robinson
The News & Observer gives a preview of what could be on the General Assembly’s dance card during the session that starts this week. We have polled North Carolina residents on several of the topics.
Gun control — There was talk that one of the gun bills that surfaced last year would resurface. It would allow people who have permits to carry concealed weapons to take them into establishments that serve alcohol and into parks. Our poll showed that 56% of respondents do not want guns in restaurants or parks.
Voter ID — Watch for the GOP to attempt an override or even seek a compromise to get Democratic support in order to put a law in place before the November election. Our poll showed that 74%
of North Carolina residents support the idea of a photo ID requirement before voting.
Fracking — A package of three bills – legalizing hydraulic fracturing, promoting offshore energy exploration, and creating a test program for fuel-producing grasses – will definitely be introduced and likely be approved. Our poll indicated that more than half
of N. C. residents don’t know what “fracking” is.
— John Robinson
North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment yesterday to ban same-sex marriage, declaring that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman.
Just to tie things up, respondents in the Elon University Poll six weeks ago indicated that they believed that gay couples should be accorded some type of legal recognition. The poll was of North Carolina residents and didn’t screen for likely voters. The margin of victory was even higher than predicted by polls of likely voters.
Yesterday, Gallup reported that 50% of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.
Will this result in North Carolina make things harder for President Obama to repeat his 2008 victory here? It’s early in the campaign and those who turn out in a general election are motivated by different things than those who vote in a primary. But it certainly appears as if Mitt Romney has another issue to campaign on when he visits N.C., particularly as the Obama Administration grapples with its position on gay rights.
— John Robinson
The same-sex marriage ban amendment has captured the attention of the national media. And Mileah Kromer, assistant director of the Elon University Poll has, too.
The National Journal
The News & Observer