Tag Archives: Thom Tillis

For the 2014 Senate race, who’s on first?

Here’s a wake up call for all the 2014 GOP Senate candidates:

* Do you recognize the name Thom Tillis? 70% no.

* Do you recognize the name Mark Harris? 80.5% no.

* Do you recognize the name Greg Brannon? 88% no.

Each is an announced candidate for Sen. Kay Hagan’s seat. While Hagan has her own issues to deal with, her GOP opponents have a long way to go to get the attention of the electorate, according to the latest Elon University Poll.

Only Tillis holds statewide office — he is speaker of the N.C. House — but given the number of registered voters who don’t pay close attention to the goings on in Raleigh, that doesn’t appear to be a big advantage. It likely does, however, in the fund-raising game.

Expect the GOP field to begin clearing up in a few months. The primary election is only six months away.

— John Robinson

Most North Carolinians oppose Amendment One

Slightly more than a month before North Carolinians vote on a same-sex marriage ban, it is clear that most residents think that gay couples should be accorded some sort of legal recognition. And that position is gaining ground.

The Elon University Poll results released today show that 61% of North Carolinians say they oppose an amendment that would prevent any same sex marriages, domestic partnerships or civil unions.

On the May ballot is a constitutional amendment that reads, ““Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

In fact, support for full marriage rights for same sex couples (38%) or support for civil unions or partnerships for same-sex couples (29%) among the state’s residents continues to increase over the four cycles since September 2011 that we have asked the question. Opposition to any legal recognition for same-sex couples continues to decrease and is now at 29%.

The results confirm a recent Politico article that suggests this isn’t the best issue for Republicans these days.

It’s not like the GOP has become a bastion of progressiveness on gay rights, but there has been an evolution in the political approach — and an acknowledgment of a cultural shift in the country. Same-sex relationships are more prominent and accepted. There are more gay public figures — including politicians — and it’s likely that many Washington Republicans have gay friends and coworkers. Just as important — there’s also a libertarian streak of acceptance on people’s sexuality coursing through the House Republican Conference….

But there’s also a political strategy at work: The economy has displaced moral issues in today’s politics. Ask most House Republicans today if they have deep convictions about gay relationships, and it hardly registers.

In North Carolina, conservatives have not shown uniform support for the amendment. House Speaker Thom Tillis said he expected the amendment to pass…and then be repealed within 20 years. Richard Vinroot, former Republican candidate for governor, said he opposed the amendment. John Hood, president of the conservative John Locke Foundation,  called the amendment “unwise and unfair.”

It is worth noting, however, that the Elon University Poll is not a poll of North Carolina residents, not of likely voters.

— John Robinson

N.C. residents give the General Assembly failing marks

Listen up, N.C. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger:

The people of North Carolina are not happy with the way the General Assembly is doing business. Not. Happy. At. All.

In the latest Elon University Poll, 53% of North Carolinians said they disapprove of how you are doing your job. Only 27% said they like it. To demonstrate how dramatically you’ve declined in the eyes of your fellow citizens, in response to the same question 11 months ago, 41% disapproved of you and 39% approved.

It’s probably not surprising. After years of Democratic control, both the Senate and the House went over to the Republicans in November 2010. People said the wanted change, and the GOP took them at their word. The legislature grappled with the governor over the budget, over taxes, over education. They slashed costs, which also meant they cut programs that many people liked. They held barely-announced post-midnight sessions to push bills through. They put the same-sex marriage ban amendment on the ballot. In Guilford County, they pushed through a county commissioner redistricting that left 43,000 residents without representation on the board of commissioners. And when confronted with the issue, chose to ignore it.

Who knows how this will play out in the May primary or November general election. But as Mark Binker of the News & Record reported last week, Statewide, 31 of 50 Senate races are contested. Republicans are virtually guaranteed to win 11 seats because there is no Democrat filed. Democrats have a similar guarantee in 8 districts because there is no Republican.

— John Robinson