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Education, Economy main voter concerns
Raleigh, NC – The struggling economy and improving the state’s education system top the Civitas Institute’s May DecisionMaker poll as the most important issues needing addressed by state government. The poll also reveals voters’ support for a voter ID law, the marriage amendment and drilling off the coast of North Carolina for oil and natural gas.
Of the 800 likely general election voters surveyed, the economy and jobs and improving education were both identified by 21 percent of voters as the most important issue facing the state. Taxes and spending was next with 14 percent. Health care costs, roads/highways, illegal immigration and gas prices followed with eight, seven, five and five percent, respectively.
“The economy is foremost on the minds of voters as of now,” stated Francis DeLuca, Executive Director of the Civitas Institute. “Over the past six months we have seen it shoot to the top as the number one issue facing the state. Education is always a concern and polls in the twenty percent range every month,” DeLuca continued.
Among individual issues:
77 percent of voters support the US Supreme Court’s decision upholding Indiana’s voter ID law. 17 percent disapproved.
77 percent of voters felt the NC General Assembly should not be allowed to borrow money without voter approval. Only 14 percent said it was acceptable. Since Mike Easley has been elected governor, there has been over $2.5 billion in new state debt issued, all without voter approval.
Only 44 percent of voters feel the average North Carolina elected official is ethical and honest. 40 percent feel they tend to be unethical and dishonest.
Only 25 percent of voters saw or heard something about the ad produced by the NC Republican Party connecting Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama to the Democratic candidates for Governor. 73 percent had not.
On energy, 68 percent of voters support exploring for oil and gas off the coast of North Carolina while only 20 percent oppose drilling.
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The study of 800 registered voters was conducted May 14-17 by Tel Opinion Research of Alexandria, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2002, 2004 or 2006 general election or were newly registered voters since 2006. The voters were interviewed using live callers.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95% of the time, results from 800 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-3.7% of the “True Values.” “True Values” refer to the results obtained if were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2002, 2004 or 2006 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2006.