Tag Archives: Gun control

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

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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

“Stand your ground” in N.C.: Support, but a racial divide

The “Stand Your Ground” law, in which a person is legally entitled to fight back with deadly force if they feel threatened, even if they could retreat instead, is supported 50% to 45% nationally, according to the Washington Post/ABC News poll.

In North Carolina, which has such a law, respondents in the Elon University Poll are even more emphatic in support of the law — 54% to 38%.

But it isn’t as clear cut as it seems.

The N.C. General Assembly passed the law as part of the “Castle Doctrine,” which provides protection from criminal and civil penalties for those who use guns to defend themselves in their homes, cars and workplaces. It is under the spotlight now because of the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

But there is a distinct racial divide over the issue. African Americans oppose the “Stand Your Ground” law, 64%, while whites only 32% of whites oppose it. Flipping it over, 58% of whites support the laws, and 27% of blacks do.

The same is true nationally. From the The Washington Post/ABC News survey. Nearly seven in 10 blacks oppose “Stand Your Ground” laws, which hold that people are legally entitled to fight back with deadly force if they feel threatened, even if they could retreat instead. Most whites — 55 percent — support such laws.

— John Robinson