RALEIGH – In its latest poll of North Carolinians, Public Policy Polling found that a majority of Republicans in the state disapprove of the job the GOP-controlled state legislature is doing. 40 percent of Republicans said they disapprove, as opposed to 36 percent who say they approve.
Overall, 56 percent of North Carolina voters disapprove of the job the General Assembly is doing. Tom Jensen, director of PPP, attributes this to the extreme legislation being pushed by the General Assembly.
“I think that Republican voters think that a lot of the proposals that Republican legislators have been passing in the General Assembly really are just too extreme,” Jensen said. “Too far to the right, even by Republican standards.”
Among the “extreme legislation” Jensen cited is a bill to allow guns on all educational properties, a bill to raise interest rates on consumer loans and a ban on purchasing cars over the phone or Internet, which would make it difficult to buy electric cars in North Carolina.
In addition, both the House and Senate’s proposed budgets had disapproval rates of 49 percent and 50 percent respectively, including a 33 percent disapproval of the House budget and 35 percent disapproval of the Senate budget by Republicans.
“Average voters probably don’t know a whole lot about what’s in the House budget or the Senate budget, but they know that they don’t trust the General Assembly, so they are inherently opposed to a lot of what they’re trying to do,” Jensen said.
While a majority of voters disapprove of the Republican-controlled legislature, the disapproval ratings for both parties in the General Assembly are almost equal, with Democrats and Republicans unfavorable at 47 and 49 percent respectively.
“A lot of times, voters don’t actually know who’s in charge of the General Assembly,” Jensen said. “Some people may not be aware that it’s Republicans that are totally in charge and pushing this kind of stuff. Especially because that is a change from the standard we’ve had in North Carolina, where Democrats have generally been in charge over the years.”
In addition to the General Assembly’s bad numbers, Governor Pat McCrory has reached his lowest approval ratings yet, with 45 percent of voters approving the job he’s been doing. While the governor has been able to fare better than the roundly disliked legislature, Jensen said McCrory’s lack of resistance to the General Assembly is seen as implied support.
“I think a lot of the Democrats and more moderate-leaning Independents who voted for him last year who generally vote Democratic maybe are feeling that he has not been quite as a difference as a Republican as they thought he would be,” Jensen said.
In April, PPP found that 31 percent of Democratic voters in the state approved of McCrory’s work, but now polling is finding his support among Democrats at 24 percent. 71 percent of Republicans approve of the work McCrory is doing.