Category Archives: #ncpol

N.C independents aren’t lining up for Obama

Party affiliation also played into perceptions. Eighty-seven percent of self-identifed Democrats approve of his job performance, while 87 percent of self-identifed Republicans approve.

Big shock, huh? Here’s the interesting sentence from the Elon University Poll: Independents skewed toward more unfavorable marks; 51 percent disapprove of his job performance while 39 percent approve.

This is an opportunity for Republicans. President Obama captured the independent vote in 2008. It helped him win North Carolina. He has to have a big piece of it to win in 2012. Likewise, the GOP must have an equally big chunk for its candidate to win the state. Right now, these voters are up for grabs.

(These results also dispel the idea that independents are liberals in sheep’s clothing.)

According to an analysis by a centrist Democratic think tank:

The fight for independent voters is already shaping up to be tougher in 2012 than it was four years ago. Democratic registration is down in eight battleground states, while independent registration is up 3.4%, according to a Third Way analysis.

Diggles and Erickson contend it would be a mistake to lump all independents together. The independent voters who backed Obama in 2008 are more moderate than independents writ large, and a significant proportion of the president’s independent backers showed in the midterm elections that they are truly swing voters.

Count on these numbers shifting. Because independents are, well, independent, they can hardly be expected to make a decision when the Republican nominee hasn’t yet been determined. I suspect that many in this group will not put a stake in the ground for one candidate until October.

— John Robinson

President Obama and the women’s vote

Women (51 percent) expressed stronger approval of Obama’s job performance than men (38 percent). Likewise, men (57 percent) disapprove of his job performance compared to women (40 percent).

That result of the Elon University Poll probably isn’t a surprise. President Obama won the female vote nationally in 2008, and women are a key constituency if he wants to win re-election. As the Republicans talk about contraception and birth control, they risk losing the female vote.

“Republicans are making a big mistake with this contraception talk, and I’m pretty sure that they are giving (the election) to Obama,” says Patricia Speyerer, 87, of McComb, Miss., a GOP-leaning independent. “It’s a stupid thing.”

That’s not all. An Associated Press-GfK poll suggests women also are giving the president more credit than men are for the country’s economic turnaround.

That’s all well and good nationally. But in North Carolina, it’s not nearly as clear cut. Women approve of how Obama is handling the economy, but only by 49 percent to 45 percent that disapprove. (Men are clear in their preference: 58 percent disapprove to 36 percent that approve.) A little weakening in the economy — the market starting to skid, gas prices continuing to rise or an upward blip in unemployment — and Obama could easily lose the female vote and with it North Carolina.

That softness of support is an opportunity for the Republican candidate.

My guess, though, is that this kind of statement, made by the president today, resonates with a lot of women: Women are going to make up their own minds in this election about who is advancing the issues they care most deeply about. One of the things I’ve learned being married to Michelle is I don’t need to tell her what it is she thinks is important, and there are millions of strong women around the country who are going to make their own determination about a whole range of issues.

— 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

Job Approval Isn’t the Same for the President and Governor

Given the disparity in approval among North Carolinians between the President and the N.C. Governor in our latest poll (released today), it made me curious about what was driving these differences in their support, or lack thereof.  Since Governor Perdue is a white female and Obama is a black male and both are Democrats in need of Independent support, I decided to explore their job approval by gender, race, and party identification.  The results are provided below.  There are some surprising and substantial differences between President Obama and Governor Perdue with regard to their job approval among North Carolinians. As you can see, two places where Democrats must draw support are absent for Governor Perdue.  Admittedly, there are many, many different factors that affect job approval ratings; also, I was just struck by the stark contrast in job approval between the President and Governor, and it got me to thinking about the “why” question.  Why are these differences emerging?  Keep reading, I’ve provided some tables comparing the President and the Governor’s job approval across these three factors (gender, race, and party identification).  At this point, I’m just exploring these disparities; if I have time in the near or distant future, I may try to look into these in more depth.

Gender
Surprisingly and somewhat counter to expectations, Governor Perdue performs worse among women (compared to President Obama). On average we expect women to support Democratic issues (and thus, candidates) more than men and, with that said, we should see an additional gender benefit for a Democratic woman, since women generally are more supportive of women.  But, such is not the case.  President Obama performs as we would expect, i.e., he should, and does enjoy more approval from women than men; in fact, he has a net positive advantage of 6.4 percent among women (which is the difference in approval and disapproval) and only a net negative of 1.4 percent among men.  However, the additional benefit we should expect for Governor Perdue is not forthcoming; she has a net negative of 12.6 percent among women (and her net negative among men is even more – 17.6 percent). She is not performing well with women, or men (though such is expected for the latter).

Presidential Job Approval by Gender

Job Approval

Gender

MALE

FEMALE

STRONGLY DISAPPROVE/DISAPPROVE

50.7%

46.8%

STRONGLY APPROVE/APPROVE

49.3%

53.2%

Total (N=630; +/-3.98)

100.0%

100.0%


Gubernatorial Job Approval by Gender

Job Approval

Gender

MALE

FEMALE

STRONGLY DISAPPROVE/DISAPPROVE

58.8%

56.3%

STRONGLY APPROVE/ APPROVE

41.2%

43.7%

Total (N=630; +/-3.98)

100.0%

100.0%

Race
Convention suggests that black Democrats should enjoy a huge advantage in support from blacks and that Democrats in general should enjoy solid support from blacks.  Such expectation proves quite clear for President Obama – he has a substantial advantage in black support – 96% to 4%!  Yet again, similar to her performance among women, Governor Perdue is not performing well among blacks.  While President Obama has a net 90-plus margin among blacks, Governor Perdue has a net negative, albeit slight, but it is still a net negative.  For such a solid Democratic block of support to divide on the Governor is not conventional. Not to suggest a Republican candidate can swoop in and draw black support away from her, but this is an area that can make her vulnerable in the future if it isn’t addressed.

Presidential Job Approval by Race

Job Approval

Race

Other

Black

White

STRONGLY DISAPPROVE/DISAPPROVE

33.8%

4.3%

67.9%

STRONGLY APPROVE/APPROVE

66.2%

95.7%

32.1%

Total (N=630; +/-3.98)

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Gubernatorial Job Approval by Race

Job Approval

Race

Other

Black

White

STRONGLY DISAPPROVE/DISAPPROVE

47.6%

51.9%

61.4%

STRONGLY APPROVE/ APPROVE

52.4%

48.1%

38.6%

Total (N=630; +/-3.98)

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Party Identification
No surprises here among partisans (Republicans don’t like Democrats and vice-versa), but those people identifying as Independents are critical, but particularly in close elections (which is what the President had in N.C. in ’08).  President Obama fares well among self-identified Independents, but again, the story turns to Governor Perdue and her serious underperformance here (a net negative margin over 20%).

Presidential Job Approval by Party Identification

Job Approval

Party Identification

DEMOCRAT

INDEPENDENT

REPUBLICAN

STRONGLY DISAPPROVE/DISAPPROVE

14.9%

46.0%

91.6%

STRONGLY APPROVE/APPROVE

85.1%

54.0%

8.4%

Total (N=630; +/-3.98)

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Gubernatorial Job Approval by Party

Job Approval

Party Identification

DEMOCRAT

INDEPENDENT

REPUBLICAN

STRONGLY DISAPPROVE/DISAPPROVE

40.8%

60.7%

75.6%

STRONGLY APPROVE/ APPROVE

59.2%

39.3%

24.4%

Total (N=630; +/-3.98)

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

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
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%
Total
(N=448, +/-4.7%)
100.0
(237)
100.0
(211)

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:  http://lafayettetravel.com/visitors/ 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 DrawCongress.org.  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, DrawCongress.org 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.