-PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds a record high level of support for gay marriage, 8 months after it became legal in the state. Voters are now almost evenly divided on the issue with 44% in support and 46% against it. That marks a massive shift in public sentiment over the last three years. In 2012 North Carolinians passed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by 22 points, 61/39. Last year we found that voters in the state still opposed it by 13 points at 40/53.
The big shift in attitudes may be a product of North Carolinians finding after gay marriage did become legal in the state that it just wasn't a big deal. 69% of voters in the state either say that its being legal has had a positive impact on their lives or no impact at all, with only 31% claiming it's had a negative effect.
The numbers by party in North Carolina on this issue really show the extent to which Republicans are on such a different plane when it comes to social issues than Democrats and independents. 59% of both Democrats and independents say they think gay marriage should be legal- meanwhile only 17% of Republicans do. There's also a huge generational gap- 57% of voters under 45 favor gay marriage, while only 36% over 45 do. Support will just keep increasing given that age divide.
-The renaming of UNC's Saunders Hall to Carolina Hall has been a big news story in the last week and North Carolinians support the gesture- 58% think state buildings named after Ku Klux Klan leaders should be renamed to just 30% who oppose such renamings. Democrats (71/22) and independents (54/28) strongly support such renamings while Republicans (44/40) are more closely divided.
-47% of North Carolinians oppose a proposed bill to allow hunting on Sundays compared to 37% who support it. There's an unusual partisan coalition on the proposal in that Republicans (34/49) and Democrats (27/53) both oppose it while independents (59/32) strongly support it. We didn't go into a lot of detail on the issue but the numbers suggest a coalition between voters who don't love guns and voters who do love Jesus.
-In a reality check on how closely the debate is being followed outside of Washington 57% of North Carolinians say they have no opinion either way about the Trans Pacific Partnership. Among those who do have one 18% are supportive and 25% are opposed. At the same time 43% of voters say they think major trade deals are good for the state's economy to only 28% who consider them to be a negative. So there may be something specific about the TPP that voters don't like, or they may just not know what to think.
-The General Assembly's about as unpopular as it always is- 23% of voters approve of the job it's doing to 54% who disapprove. Democrats (33/46) and Republicans (34/51) in the legislature are both unpopular and have pretty comparable favorability ratings. Voters are pretty much evenly divided on how they would cast their ballots if there was a legislative election today- 44% say Democratic to 43% Republican.