North Carolinians Want Nonpartisan Redistricting

| Tom Jensen

Redistricting has been the biggest news in North Carolina politics of late and voters across party lines agree- they want the process to change. 59% of voters in the state want the law changed so that districts are drawn in a nonpartisan fashion, compared to only 9% who are opposed to such a move. There’s a strong bipartisan consensus on the issue, with Democrats (65/6), independents (56/12), and Republicans (54/11) all thinking there should be a change over to a nonpartisan process.

The race for Governor continues to bounce back and forth between small leads for Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper. This month the incumbent has the slight edge, with McCrory getting 43% to 41% for Cooper. That’s thanks largely to McCrory having a 39/33 advantage with independents. The basic contours of the race remain unchanged. McCrory is unpopular, with only 40% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapprove. But Copper is relatively unknown, with a 46% plurality of voters having no opinion about him one way or another. He has a positive 32/22 favorability among those voters who are familiar with him.

There’s not much intrigue in either party’s primary for Governor. McCrory’s getting 69% in his primary to 5% for Robert Brawley and 4% for Charles Moss. And Cooper’s getting 55% in his primary to 12% for Ken Spaulding. In both cases those numbers are almost identical to what we found last month- there’s no indication of the challengers gaining traction. On the extremely off chance Spaulding were to win the primary, McCrory leads him by 12 points at 44/32.

The US Senate race is looking a little bit tighter this month, with Richard Burr leading his prospective Democratic opponents by only 6-7 points. He’s up 43/37 on Deborah Ross, and 43/36 each on Kevin Griffin and Chris Rey. The competitiveness of the race is a function of Burr’s lack of popularity. Only 29% of voters say they approve of the job he’s doing, to 40% who disapprove.

One thing Burr doesn’t have to worry about is the Republican primary. He’s at 56% to 13% for Greg Brannon, 4% for Paul Wright, and 3% for Larry Holmquist. Brannon’s not showing any ability to build on his performance in the Republican Senate primary in 2014. Deborah Ross continues to be the front runner on the Democratic side. She’s at 22% to 10% each for Kevin Griffin and Chris Rey, and 2% for Ernest Reeves. 55% of voters remain undecided so there are a lot of people up for grabs in the final four weeks, but among those who have decided Ross is well positioned to win the nomination without a runoff.

Thom Tillis continues to have very little popularity as he continues his second year in the Senate. Only 24% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 35% who disapprove, with 41% having no opinion about him one way or another. It’s hard to imagine there’s another Senator in the country whose approval is that low- Tillis was unpopular even as he won election because of Kay Hagan’s being even more unpopular, and nothing’s happened in the last year to change that.

We continue to find strong support from North Carolinians for a big increase in the minimum wage. 69% of voters favor upping it to at least $10 an hour, compared to only 17% who think it’s fine where it is right now and 9% who would like to eliminate it altogether. There’s bipartisan support for an increase with 85% of Democrats, 66% of independents, and 53% of Republican supporting a bump to at least $10 an hour.

There’s bipartisan support on two other issues we polled as well. 68% of voters support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, to only 24% who are opposed to it. That includes support from 86% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and 52% of Republicans. And there continues to be a strong bipartisan mandate for background checks on all gun sales as well. 86% of voters overall support that to only 8% who are opposed, including 92% of Democrats, 85% of independents, and 78% of Republicans.

Full results here

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