PPP's annual poll on the UNC/Duke rivalry finds that 73% of North Carolinians think that Barack Obama should honor former UNC coach Dean Smith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
That finding's not too surprising in and of itself. In 2011 we found that Smith was the second most admired person in the state, trailing only Billy Graham. What might be more surprising though is some of the groups supporting this honor for Smith. 72% of Duke fans think that Smith should receive it to just 28% opposed. And even though Smith was a well known liberal, 76% of both Democrats and Republicans think that he should receive it. The respect for Smith transcends party and rivalry lines.
Over 70% of men, women, whites, African Americans, young voters, and senior citizens think Smith should receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It's not too often we see that kind of agreement along demographic lines about anything in this highly polarized state.
On to Wednesday's game, Duke might be in the Top Ten and UNC might be on the bubble, but the Tar Heels at least continue to have a big lead in the court of public opinion. 47% of North Carolinians say they'll be pulling for UNC, to just 26% for Duke. This is actually the widest advantage we've found for UNC in 6 years of doing this poll. The previous largest was a 16 point lead in both 2008 and 2009. This is something North Carolinians across party lines can agree on- Democrats go for Carolina by a 49/28 margin and Republicans do so by a 48/24 spread.
Full results here