North Carolina Miscellany

| Tom Jensen

-PPP’s annual poll on college football loyalties in North Carolina once again finds the Tar Heels leading the way. 22% say they’re UNC fans to 15% for Duke, 14% for NC State, 12% for East Carolina, 10% for Appalachian State, and Wake Forest in a distant last place at 3%.

Fans of all these schools are generally pretty happy with the job their coaches are currently doing. Duke’s David Cutcliffe leads the way with a 59/7 approval, Ruffin McNeill’s at 56/1 with ECU fans, Dave Doeren comes in at 50/3 with NC State loyalists, Larry Fedora’s at 49/7 with Tar Heel backers, Scott Satterfield’s at 45/5 with the Mountaineer faithful, and Wake’s Dave Clawson has somewhat mediocre numbers at 33/17.

-North Carolinians are really jumping on the Panthers bandwagon. When we did a poll last December, only 34% of voters in the state said they were Panthers fans. That’s now up to 51%, with 10% identifying as Cowboys fans, 8% Steelers, 6% each for the Patriots and Redskins, and 5% for the Packers. Just as support for the Panthers in general has gone up, support for the leadership of Ron Rivera as coach has gone way up. Toward the end of last season he had just a 37/32 approval spread with Panthers fans- now he’s at a lofty 71/5 level.

-The dominant reaction to the Board of Governors’ hiring of Margaret Spellings as UNC President a couple weeks ago is ambivalence. 74% of voters in the state say they have no opinion about Spellings one way or another with 10% seeing her favorably and 17% unfavorably. On the decision to hire her there’s similar indifference with 14% saying they support bringing her in, 21% opposing it, and the overwhelming 65% majority having no take on it one way or another. Voters with an opinion about them do generally take a pretty dim view of the Board of Governors- only 14% see them positively and 34% have a negative view- but even there you still have 52% who say they don’t know.

-Even a month after leaving town the public’s animosity toward the General Assembly hasn’t abated much. Just 14% of voters approve of the job the legislature’s doing to 64% who disapprove. Republicans aren’t paying much of a price for that unpopularity despite their overwhelming control of the legislature though- they actually lead the generic legislative ballot by a tick at 43/42. Legislative Republicans are certainly unpopular (30/53 favorability rating), but so are Legislative Democrats (35/47). These numbers point to an overall pretty status quo outcome if we were voting today.

-North Carolinians have a relatively positive reaction toward Paul Ryan becoming Speaker of the House. Ryan has a 39/31 favorability rating, and by a wider 43/26 spread voters say they approve of his becoming Speaker. Those are very good poll numbers for anything related to Congress to have these days. Republicans (62/13) overwhelmingly support his promotion to Speaker and even Democrats (30/36) could better be described as divided on it than negative.

-86% of North Carolinians support background checks on all gun sales, to only 9% who are opposed to them. There’s 91% support from Democrats, 82% support from Republicans, and 82% support from independents for that expansion in gun laws.

-74% of North Carolinians support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, compared to just 15% who want to leave it where it is and 8% who would prefer to do away with the minimum wage altogether. Even among Republicans there’s 57% support for an increase to at least $10.

-68% of North Carolinians support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to 27% who are opposed. There’s bipartisan support for it with Democrats (85/12), independents (63/28), and Republicans (51/44) all in favor.

-Finally, nothing much changes when it comes to Thom Tillis’ popularity in North Carolina. Just 28% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 36% who disapprove. The negative ads may have stopped a year ago, but Tillis isn’t getting any more popular.

Full results here

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