-North Carolinians are increasingly having doubts about the state's proposed amendment to ban gay marriage. When PPP first polled on it in October 61% of voters said they would support it. That's ticked down to 59%, 58%, and now 56% over the course of our last three polls. It's still leading for passage by a healthy 56/34 margin but the trendlines have to be encouraging for those hoping to defeat it.
The decrease in support for the amendment may reflect voters in the state becoming more aware about just how far reaching it would be. 57% of North Carolinians support some form of legal recognition for gay couples- either full marriage rights or civil unions- to only 40% who are completely opposed to any rights for same sex couples.
There are a lot of voters who are fine with civil unions but not with gay marriage who are planning right now to vote for the amendment, not realizing that it would ban civil unions too. But some of those folks are starting to move out of the 'yes' column, and getting a bunch more of them to will be the key to defeating the proposal.
-Legislative Republicans set a new record low level of popularity last month, and now they've broken it again this month. Just 27% of North Carolinians have a favorable opinion of them to 47% with a negative one. Independents, whose overwhelming support fueled their ascendancy last year, split against them by a 28/43 margin.
The bad news for Democrats is they're not all that popular either- 36% see them favorably to 41% with a negative opinion. The upshot is that voters in the state are split right down the middle when it comes to how they'll vote for the legislature this fall- 44% say they'll vote Democratic and 44% say they'll vote Republican.
Under the 2010 district lines a tie would almost certainly result in Democrats picking up seats, given that they lost the generic ballot by 11 points that year and have improved a good deal since then. But after the stellar job the GOP did on redistricting my guess is that a generic ballot tie represents about the status quo in the balance of power.
-Finally we asked a set of questions that give mixed messages about North Carolina becoming more open to diversity. 92% of voters say they'd be willing to support a black candidates for public office, compared to only 4% who say they wouldn't be open to doing so. I know some folks may think people are lying to that question but I think it's pretty close to the truth- white Republicans would be willing to vote for a black conservative, and the big poll leads Herman Cain had at one point in North Carolina speak to that.
North Carolinians may be increasingly open minded about voting for African Americans but when it comes to gays and Muslims...not so much. Only 53% say they'd be open to voting for a gay candidate, while 36% say they would not. And just 40% are open to supporting a Muslim, while 45% are not. The state's moving forward on some fronts but on others there's still a long way to go.
Full results here