Tag Archives: abortion

North Carolina remains divided on abortion, gay marriage

Two of the hottest issues facing people and politicians today are gay marriage and abortion. North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment last summer mandating that marriage is between a man and a woman. North Carolina politicians passed abortion legislation this summer.

The Elon University Poll took a quick temperature check on both last week. In both cases, one side had an edge, but a small, small one.

On gay marriage, 46.5 percent of respondents opposed it and 42.6 percent supported it. This is similar to the findings in our April poll.

Digging into the numbers:

Perhaps the most interesting number in the results is 63. That is the percentage of Catholics who said they supported gay marriage. It is probably unfair to make much of it, though, because the sample size is so small.

Political party: 58 percent of Democrats, 47 percent of Independents and 21 percent of Republicans support gay marriage.

Gender: 43 percent of men and 42 percent of women support it.

Age: 68 percent of 18-30-year olds support it. Support then slides through the age groups to a low of 24 percent for 65+.

Race: 51 percent of blacks and 40 percent of whites support it, 

On abortion, 44.5 percent supported making access more difficult and 41.4 percent support making access less difficult. These opinions are tightening. In our April poll, 42 percent supported making access more difficult and 37 percent said less.

The major demographic difference comes — no big shocker — among political affiliation. 67 percent of Republicans support more restrictions, 43 percent of Independents do, but only 27 percent of Democrats support them.

Women support more restrictions, 48-40 percent. Men move in the opposite direction slightly, making access to abortion less difficult, 43-40 percent.

In the case of both issues, public opinion is one thing; law is something else.

— John Robinson

North Carolina is headed in the wrong direction

Republicans took office this January pledging to change the direction that North Carolina was heading. By all accounts, they were successful.

Here’s the bad news: most North Carolinians who responded in the latest Elon University Poll don’t like it.

Fifty-nine percent said the state was headed in the wrong direction, compared with 32 percent who said the course was right. Unfortunately for the GOP, 49 percent blamed the Republicans, compared with just 19 percent pointing the finger at the Democrats. (27 percent blamed neither.)

Could be worse: 70 percent of North Carolinians said that the country was headed in the wrong direction.

Digging into the blame game on the state level:

Political party: 76 percent of Democrats blame Republicans, and 56 percent of Republicans blamed Democrats. Shocking!

Gender: 51 percent of men and 48 percent of women blame Republicans.

Age: 47 percent of 18-30-year olds ranging to 59 percent of 65+ blame Republicans.

Race: 46 percent of whites and 60 percent of blacks blame Republicans.

The dissatisfaction holds across the board throughout the poll as the General Assembly and Gov. McCrory saw their approval ratings drop.

The General Assembly took a number of controversial — and to some, unpopular — steps, including changing voting access, making abortion access stricter, loosening gun control and not giving teachers raises. Thousands rallied in protest every Monday during the spring and summer.

The state came in for damning coverage from the national news media, including editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post. It’s unclear, though, how much the media coverage impacted the results. When asked if they had heard of the Moral Monday protests, for instance, 39 percent of respondents said they hadn’t.

Of course, it’s more than what happens in Raleigh. The state’s unemployment level is still high. People dissatisfied with Congress and the president are likely to carry their dissatisfaction over to the state level.

Meanwhile, the poll also shows that 29 percent of North Carolinians think the economy will get worse, with 26 percent thinking it will get better and 42 percent saying it will stay the same. (Most Democrats think it will get better or stay about the same; most Republicans think it will get worse or stay about the same.) Hardly a vote of confidence.

Gov. McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger have said they are proud of the work they did leading the state in a different, more conservative, direction. As people get used to the new legislation and its impacts, the numbers likely will change. Only time will tell in which direction.

— John Robinson