PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds that teacher pay raises are a top priority for voters in the state- and that they want to see teachers get more than Republicans in Raleigh are proposing.
By a 54/36 spread, including 50/39 with independents, North Carolinians think raising teacher pay should be a higher priority for the General Assembly than cutting taxes. 50% of voters in the state support at least a 5% increase, 59% support at least a 4% increase, and 76% support at least a 3% increase. Only 24% of voters think that a 2% teacher pay increase or less is adequate.
There's also strong support for increasing the starting teacher salary in the state. 56% of voters think teachers should start at at least $40,000 a year and 82% think they should start at at least $35,000 a year.
Given these findings it's not surprising that Pat McCrory's teacher pay announcement last week hasn't done anything to shore up his standing with voters in the state. Only 40% of voters approve of the job he's doing, compared to 48% who disapprove. A hypothetical match up for reelection with Roy Cooper would be a toss up at this point, with McCrory ahead by a single point at 43/42.
Other notes from North Carolina:
-The generic legislative ballot in the state is tied at 43%. If that holds to November Democrats will probably be able to pick up a few seats but nothing close to a majority.
-One issue that hurt McCrory last year and continues to is the rejection of Medicaid expansion- 58% of North Carolinians support it to only 31% who are opposed, including 57/26 with independent voters.
-Nonpartisan redistricting was back in the news last week with the announcement of a new partnership between former Mayors Charles Meeker and Richard Vinroot, and it's a very popular concept among North Carolinians familiar with it- 45% support it to only 18% who are opposed, with 37% having no opinion either way. Independents (49/17), Democrats (48/14), and Republicans (37/25) alike are in favor of it.
-North Carolina power customers continue to have little interest in helping to pay for the clean up of this winter's coal ash spill- only 10% say they'd support a small increase in their bill to help pay for it compared to 84% who say they're opposed.
-It continues to look like North Carolina will be a competitive state once again in the 2016 Presidential race if Hillary Clinton throws her hat in the ring. She holds modest leads over the top potential Republican candidates in the state- 45/44 over Rand Paul, 45/42 over Jeb Bush, 44/40 over Chris Christie, and 47/43 over Mike Huckabee.
The Republican primary field is muddled as it is most everywhere in the country at this point- Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee lead with 17%, followed by Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul at 12%, Paul Ryan at 8%, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker at 5%, and Bobby Jindal at 2%.
Full results here