Category Archives: #ncga

What’s ahead for the General Assembly: guns, voter ID and fracking

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.
While they’re at it, legislators might work on their own image. Our most recent poll showed that their approval rating is at 31%.
— John Robinson

Perdue: campaigning for the education tax

Gov. Bev Perdue continues to campaign for her proposal to increase the sales tax by three-quarters of a cent to fund education. Republican leaders in the General Assembly continue to declare the idea DOA.

Maybe she should refer them to the latest Elon University Poll that shows North Carolinians support such a levy 53% to 43%.

Education funding is already a big issue in the state and will get bigger as Election Day gets closer. The Wake County school system is trying to figure out how to avoid teacher layoffs. School systems across the state are struggling to deal with budget cuts. The governor and a conservative group are squabbling over who has done the most for education.

We have not polled on the state’s approval rating of the governor. She answered that question herself, somewhat, when she announced she would not seek a second term. We have polled on the approval rating of the General Assembly. It’s not good.

— John Robinson

Thinking of All Who Endured the Weekend Storms

Thinking about all those in N.C. that battled the storms over the weekend. Hope all is well and you are safe.  Please know that our thoughts are with you during this difficult time!   #ncpol  #ncga

Data Depth (Men, Women & Same Sex Marriage) and Mardi Gras

I have something similar to the flu that has sidelined me for a few days (as if you couldn’t tell by the title of this post).

That noted, I have not forgotten about exploring in more detail at all those issues from the most recent Elon Poll. Hopefully, health permitting, I’ll be able to provide some additional insight to some issues — same sex marriage, abortion, health care, video poker/sweepstakes games, and charter schools — by looking at these across ideology, age, gender, as well as some other demographics (e.g., urban/rural). Below is an example of how I hope to explore these issues; looking at same sex marriage by gender, women and men appear to differ based on what option they prefer with regard to marriage rights:

Question about statements closest to one’s position on same sex marriage issue by gender
Male Female
Three positions offered respondents on this issue [statements rotated] (#1) oppose any legal recognition for same sex couples 43.9% 37.4%
(#2) support civil unions or partnerships for same sex couples, but not full rights 30.8% 29.4%
(#3) full marriage rights for same sex couples 25.3% 33.2%
(N=448, +/-4.7%)

Though these data are self explanatory, i.e., more women support same sex marriage rights than men, the key to this relationship is that it is not statistically significant, which means that one’s perspective about marriage rights is not associated with one’s gender.  In English, there is no difference in peoples’ perspectives of same sex marriage based on their gender (statistically speaking that is).  So, if gender doesn’t provide insight to understanding same sex marriage, what does?  We’ll keep parsing these data to figure that out, so stay tuned.

Finally, as an honorary Cajun (or the other affectionate term “c.a.”, which, believe me, is something I earned), to all my Cajun pals — Happy Mardi Gras!
For more information on it, see: eventsandfestivals/



Census Numbers = Redistricting

With all the buzz about the release of Census numbers for NC, I came across a very interesting project at Columbia Law School (by way of the Monkey Cage & John Sides, an exceptional political science blog).

This is quite an interesting perspective of redistricting that these folks are taking up at  They are providing redistricting scenarios, from drawing districts that maintain the status quo to creating districts based on maximum competition, as in districts evenly divided by Democrats and Republicans; there are five scenarios offered for each state.  Obviously, it isn’t all done at this point, nor are all scenarios available (it would be a bit early to expect such an accomplishment).  But, when done, this will be an exciting site to visit. As well, provides a benchmark by which we can all compare plans proposed by the NC General Assembly; this site will permit anyone and everyone to assess how the redistricting committee’s work stacks up with regard to party, competition, and current districts.

Though North Carolina isn’t completed at this point, the site is worth visiting, as some state scenarios are available to review (which, if you are wondering, are: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Virginia); there are some scenarios for these states (as, given this herculean task, not all scenarios could be developed by now). When completed, however, this is going to be an incredible resource.  At this point, navigation requires going through some directories to view the maps (which are either jpg or pdf formats), but it is well worth the venture.