North Carolinians Mostly Ambivalent Toward SHARK Threat

| Tom Jensen

North Carolinians just don’t know what to make of sharks these days. 62% of voters in the state have no opinion about them one way or the other. Among those who do have one, 15% see them favorably to 22% who have an unfavorable opinion.

The good news for the North Carolina tourism industry in the wake of the recent shark attacks is that not too many beach goers are planning to curb their travel this year. Among the 40% of voters in the state who say they usually go to the beach every summer, 82% say the attacks have no impact on their plans this year compared to only 15% who say they’re less likely to go to the beach because of them. Democrats (20%) are a lot more likely to be scared of the sharks than Republicans (9%) are.

On to more serious matters:

-In the wake of last month’s shooting in Charleston North Carolinians strongly support universal background checks on gun purchases, and oppose the flying of the Confederate flag over government buildings. 86% of voters support background checks to only 10% who are opposed. That includes 90% of Democrats, 85% of Republicans, and 79% of independents. 

Opinion about the flag is more evenly divided- 38% of voters support continuing to fly it compared to 48% who are opposed. This is an issue where Republicans are well out of line with the overall population- 58% of them are in favor of it to 25% who are opposed. Meanwhile Democrats (22/68) are strongly against it and independents (37/47) pretty much mirror the overall numbers.

-Several key Republicans suggested in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage last month that states should just ignore the decisions they didn’t agree with. We find that GOP voters in North Carolina narrowly agree with that sentiment- 40% say states should do that to 38% who think they should comply even when they don’t agree. Overall though only 26% of voters in the state hold that view to 54% who disagree. And on the issue of just getting rid of the Supreme Court, as Bobby Jindal suggested, even Republicans (34/46) are opposed with the population as a whole against it 21/61.

-One Supreme Court decision from last month that North Carolinians are definitely in step with is the one to allow nonpartisan redistricting. 55% of voters in the state say they support drawing district lines in a nonpartisan fashion compared to only 10% who are opposed. That concept gets majority support from independents (56/7), Democrats (56/11), and Republicans (53/9) alike.

-The General Assembly continues to be very unpopular with only 20% of voters approving of the jobs it’s doing to 58% who disapprove. Neither party is popular but the Democrats (34/52) in the legislature are slightly less unpopular than the Republicans (33/53) are. Democrats have a 46/42 lead on the generic ballot- typical of the stronger performances they tend to post while the legislature is in session- but it’s worth noting that’s a lot better for the GOP than the 51/42 deficit they had at this time during the long session in 2013.

-Finally Thom Tillis continues to be unpopular with only 32% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 36% who disapprove.

Full results here

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