January 2012 Poll Results

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  1. And on a scale of one to ten, how likely do you think you are to vote in the November 2012 General election? One means you are not at all likely to vote, five means there is a 50-50 chance you will vote, and ten means it is certain that you will vote in the election in November. Remember you can use any number between one and ten.
    • 88.2%
      10
    • 3.3%
      9
    • 1.7%
      8
    • 0.2%
      7
    • 0.8%
      6
    • 3.8%
      5
    • 0.2%
      4
    • 1.3%
      1
    • 0.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  2. Do you feel things in North Carolina are generally headed in the right direction or have gotten off on the wrong track?
    • 26.9%
      Right Direction
    • 57.3%
      Wrong Track
    • 15.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  3. And if the election for North Carolina State Legislature were held today, would you be voting for the:
    • 37.4%
      Republican candidate
    • 37.5%
      Democratic candidate
    • 6.8%
      Neither
    • 18.3%
      Don't Know/Refused
  4. Open-ended: And in the upcoming 2012 elections for North Carolina Governor and State Legislature, what will be the most important issue to you personally, as you decide your vote? That is, the one state issue in North Carolina that you consider to be the most important?
  5. Now I am going to read you a list of terms used in politics. After I read each term, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of it. If you have never heard of the term, just tell me and we’ll go on to the next one... the first one is... Capitalism
    • 33.4%
      Very Favorable
    • 24.9%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 11.3%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 11.6%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 15.6%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 3.2%
      Never heard of
  6. Tea party
    • 16.8%
      Very Favorable
    • 20.4%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 8.6%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 34.4%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 16.4%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 3.3%
      Never heard of
  7. Occupy Wall Street
    • 11.8%
      Very Favorable
    • 19.9%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 12.8%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 31.6%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 16.8%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 7.1%
      Never heard of
  8. Liberalism
    • 13.1%
      Very Favorable
    • 21.1%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 16.4%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 30.7%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 13.5%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 5.1%
      Never heard of
  9. Progressivism
    • 14%
      Very Favorable
    • 22.6%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 11.3%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 15.4%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 17.8%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 18.9%
      Never heard of
  10. Conservatism
    • 31.1%
      Very Favorable
    • 27.2%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 11.6%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 13.8%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 12.5%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 3.8%
      Never heard of
  11. Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing as President of the United States?
    • 26.1%
      Strongly Approve
    • 17.1%
      Somewhat Approve
    • 12.3%
      Somewhat Disapprove
    • 40.5%
      Strongly Disapprove
    • 4%
      Don't Know/Refused
  12. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Bev Perdue is doing as Governor?
    • 15.1%
      Strongly Approve
    • 28.6%
      Somewhat Approve
    • 16.9%
      Somewhat Disapprove
    • 32.6%
      Strongly Disapprove
    • 6.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  13. Split Sample

    • If the election for President of the United States were being held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: Mitt Romney, the Republican, and Barack Obama, the Democrat?
      • 35.3%
        Definitely Romney
      • 8.3%
        Probably Romney
      • 3.7%
        Lean Romney
      • 10.3%
        Undecided
      • 1.3%
        Lean Obama
      • 3%
        Probably Obama
      • 36.3%
        Definitely Obama
      • 1.7%
        Don't Know/Refused
    • If the election for President of the United States were being held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: Rick Santorum, the Republican, and Barack Obama, the Democrat?
      • 31.1%
        Definitely Santorum
      • 8.6%
        Probably Santorum
      • 3%
        Lean Santorum
      • 10.6%
        Undecided
      • 2%
        Lean Obama
      • 4.3%
        Probably Obama
      • 38.4%
        Definitely Obama
      • 2%
        Don't Know/Refused
  14. If the election for Governor were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: Pat McCrory, the Republican or Bev Perdue, the Democrat?
    • 39%
      Definitely McCrory
    • 7.5%
      Probably McCrory
    • 3%
      Lean McCrory
    • 10.5%
      Undecided
    • 1.7%
      Lean Perdue
    • 7.8%
      Probably Perdue
    • 29.4%
      Definitely Perdue
    • 1.2%
      Don't Know/Refused
  15. Have you seen read or heard about the three campaign workers for Governor Perdue, including her fundraising Director, who have been indicted on charges ranging from felony obstruction of justice to certifying a false campaign finance report?
    • 61.6%
      Yes
    • 35.9%
      No
    • 2.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  16. As you may know, The Wake County District Attorney is investigating Governor Perdue's 2008 campaign. The District Attorney's wife is a high ranking advisor to Governor Perdue who earns over $100k a year. Do you feel this is a conflict of interest, or do you think there is no conflict of interest?
    • 66.4%
      Yes, it is a conflict
    • 15.6%
      No, it is not a conflict
    • 17.9%
      Don't Know/Refused
  17. Does this information make you more likely to support Governor Perdue, less likely to support her, or would it make no difference to you?
    • 2%
      Much more likely
    • 1.3%
      Somewhat more likely
    • 11.8%
      Somewhat less likely
    • 25.6%
      Much less likely
    • 54.2%
      No Difference
    • 5.1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  18. In public education, a voucher is a government payment made directly to parents that can be used to help pay a child’s tuition at any non-public school. With that information, please tell me if you support or oppose public education vouchers?
    • 30.9%
      Strongly Support
    • 17.9%
      Somewhat Support
    • 12%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 28.4%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 10.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  19. When it comes to public education, the policy of tenure protects long-serving teachers from being fired regardless of student performance. If a principal or superintendent wishes to dismiss, demote or change an employment status, he or she must follow a strict set of guidelines to do so. Some say tenure limits a school’s ability to pay teachers based on performance and ties the hands of administrators who want flexibility to balance budget and staffing decisions. Tenure supporters say it protects teachers from outside the classroom interference and allows them to teach free of the fear of losing their jobs. With that information, please tell me if you support or oppose the elimination of tenure?
    • 29.7%
      Strongly Support
    • 19.6%
      Somewhat Support
    • 13%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 19.9%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 17.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  20. In 2011 the legislature added 5 instructional days to the school calendar by converting 5 teacher workdays when students did not attend class, into instructional days for students. Do you support or oppose this increase of instructional days in the school year?
    • 36%
      Strongly Support
    • 22.8%
      Somewhat Support
    • 9%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 17.9%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 14.3%
      Don't Know/Refused
  21. As you may know, the legislature recently eliminated the limit on the number of public Charter schools in 2011. Do you support or oppose their decision?
    • 20.4%
      Strongly Support
    • 16.1%
      Somewhat Support
    • 18.6%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 22.4%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 22.4%
      Don't Know/Refused
  22. Do you think teachers should be paid on the basis of student performance or by number of years of teaching?
    • 43.9%
      Student performance
    • 29.9%
      Number of years teaching
    • 7.5%
      Both/combination
    • 7.8%
      Neither
    • 11%
      Don't Know/Refused
  23. Social promotion refers to the practice of advancing a child to the next grade level without demonstrated mastery of subject matter. Social promotion allows the student to stay with their age group and friends rather than be left behind to successfully master the course work. Educators say this policy is necessary because principals need authority to weigh individual decisions about students. Do you support or oppose ending the policy of social promotion in North Carolina public schools?
    • 37.4%
      Strongly Support
    • 13.5%
      Somewhat Support
    • 10.8%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 25.2%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 13.1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  24. Multiple Choices Accepted: Would the death penalty be an appropriate punishment in any of the following cases:
    • 67.9%
      A terrorist incident that causes loss of life
    • 71.6%
      The rape and murder of a child
    • 67.8%
      Premeditated murder with DNA evidence and eyewitnesses
    • 19.9%
      None/I don't believe in the death penalty
    • 6.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  25. Would you support or oppose a politician who tried to completely eliminate the death penalty as a punishment in North Carolina?
    • 13.5%
      Strongly Support
    • 8.3%
      Somewhat Support
    • 16.4%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 48.3%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 4.8%
      No Difference
    • 8.6%
      Don't Know/Refused
  26. Thinking about the concept of wealth distribution in this country today, which of the following statements comes closest to your own opinion?
    • 31.1%
      Government needs to do more to transfer wealth from the people who have more to those who have less.
    • 35%
      There is already too much wealth redistribution. Successful people should be able to keep or invest more of what they earn.
    • 18.6%
      Our current system is about right and should not be changed.
    • 15.3%
      Don't Know/Refused
  27. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that says: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State?"
    • 55.8%
      Strongly Support
    • 5.3%
      Somewhat Support
    • 8.6%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 22.4%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 7.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  28. Do you think the legislature should put a cap on the tax on gas in North Carolina even if that means new roads are built at a slower pace?
    • 72.9%
      Yes
    • 18.1%
      No
    • 9%
      Don't Know/Refused
  29. In what year were you born?
    • 2.2%
      18-25
    • 11.6%
      26-40
    • 31.2%
      41-55
    • 19.3%
      56-65
    • 28.7%
      66+
    • 7%
      Don't Know/Refused
  30. Regardless of your party affiliation, do you:
    • 16.3%
      Always Vote Democrat
    • 22.6%
      Vote Democrat more often than Republican
    • 27.6%
      Vote Republican more often than Democrat
    • 9.3%
      Always Vote Republican
    • 14.8%
      Both Equally - Split Ticket
    • 9.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  31. In terms of your current employment status, would you say you...
    • 10.6%
      Are self-employed
    • 26.6%
      Work for a private company
    • 9.1%
      Work for Government
    • 7.1%
      Are a Spouse (homemaker)
    • 34.9%
      Are Retired
    • 7.8%
      Are Unemployed
    • 3.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  32. If you were to label yourself, would you say you are a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative in your political beliefs?
    • 8.1%
      Very Liberal
    • 10%
      Somewhat Liberal
    • 32.2%
      Moderate
    • 20.6%
      Somewhat Conservative
    • 21.9%
      Very Conservative
    • 7.1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  33. Which category best describes your race or ethnicity?
    • 74.6%
      White or Caucasian
    • 19.6%
      African-American or Black
    • 0.7%
      Hispanic or Latino
    • 1.8%
      Native American
    • 0.5%
      Asian or Pacific Islander
    • 0.7%
      Other
    • 2.2%
      Don't Know/Refused
  34. Gender
    • 48%
      Men
    • 52%
      Women
  35. Geographic area
    • 19.6%
      Charlotte
    • 14%
      Western
    • 20%
      Piedmont Triad
    • 24.5%
      Triangle
    • 8.3%
      Northeast
    • 13.6%
      Southeast
  36. Party Registration
    • 30.7%
      Republican
    • 48.5%
      Democrat
    • 20.8%
      Independent/Other

This article was posted in Poll Results by Civitas Staff on February 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2012/january-2012-poll-results/

Comments on this article

  • 1

    Andy F
    Andy F Feb 15, 2012 at 10:58

    I feel pretty strongly thay some of those that consider themselves to be moderate are actually Liberal in their leanings .

  • 2

    Michael Dowling
    Michael Dowling Feb 15, 2012 at 11:51

    A great push poll on political questions 10 thru 18, unfortunately push polls don’t accurately reflect voters views on the basic subject being polled, only the views the polling organizations wants reflected. Otherwise not too bad. Conservatives aren’t doing so good on OWS and the Tea Party seems to be taking a dive.

  • 3

    Hayden Soloway
    Hayden Soloway Feb 15, 2012 at 12:32

    The shocker is the number who are favorable to the term “progressive”. People think they know what the term means: progress, moving forward, sounds nice. They do not know what it means in terms of political ideology. If you exchange that word for the word “socialist”, which is what a progressive is, there would be a much lower approval rating. I have to blame media for the ignorance of what those terms mean. The conservatives face an uphill battle because of ignorance caused by most of the media.

  • 4

    Hayden Soloway
    Hayden Soloway Feb 15, 2012 at 12:36

    Post script to my message above: Keep in mind when reviewing this data that 45% of the respondents were Democrats; 33% were Republicans; and 22% were independent.

  • 5

    Adaline Pasour
    Adaline Pasour Feb 15, 2012 at 13:08

    What disturbs me is the 3% who “never heard of” Capitalism! I hope they are the ones who do not vote!

  • 6

    maryze
    maryze Feb 15, 2012 at 14:14

    I live in western nc, and I agree with Hayden S. the media uses terms people are unfamiliar with which misleads people when answering certain questions.. after the word “progressive” it should have been in parenthesis “socialist”.. anyone who knows good english could rephrase these questions to aid less educated people in giving their answers.. Keep it simple..only 32 percent are college educated..and even less ever listen to the news..Many of my personal friends have just turned off the “news” as most of it is socialist views no-one agrees with..even Fox news has gotten so liberal, we have turned most of it off.

  • 7

    TR
    TR Feb 15, 2012 at 18:02

    One of the problems with this poll is that the respondents don’t accurately reflect those who vote. For instance, the median voting age in NC in the 2008 elections was 36.8 years. That means 50% of those NC voters were younger than 37 yrs old. But only 16% of the folks who responded to this poll were under 40 yrs old. And in 2008, only 12.2% voters were 65+ yrs old. Folks 65+ make up at least 24% of this poll. Hispanics were 7.1% of the 2008 NC vote, but they’re only 1% of this poll’s respondents. 70% of the NC 2008 vote was white; at least 74% of this poll’s respondents are white. The fact is this poll talked to a whiter and much older population. Sorry maryze if you think these are ‘socialist’ terms I’m using, but the results and method have to be viewed as somewhat skewed and biased.

  • 8

    Mike P.
    Mike P. Feb 15, 2012 at 19:47

    TR, the 2008 vote is not necessarily the model for every subsequent vote. Younger and Hispanic turnout will probably be lower in the May primary and in the fall too (although higher than in the primary). For the marriage amendment, for example, there is no reason to think that higher white turnout (Hispanic or otherwise) would affect the result. Black voters are usually more likely to support a marriage amendment than white voters, so the margin might be affected, but that is all. Youngers voters are more likely to oppose a marriage amendment than older voters, but younger voters are also more likely than not to support the amendment. For example, three of the four polls PPP has done on the amendment have shown majority support from 18-29 year-olds.

  • 9

    TR
    TR Feb 16, 2012 at 0:32

    I’m writing to revise my earlier comment. I noticed an error in my data with regard to demographics (which reflected overall population, not just voters). I apologize. While the age representation remains skewed, the ethnic representation is more accurate. Nevertheless, to Mike’s point, I do believe voter age will make a difference, especially on the marriage amendment. Though Civitas likes to give selective description before some of its questions (see #12 and #15), hence steering the response, it gives no background or explanation to the marriage amendment. Once folks learn more and understand the overreach of this proposed change, many more will turn out and vote against than Mike or this poll indicates, especially now that there will be a Democratic gubernatorial primary. That tide is changing; it’s just that Civitas is counting way too few younger folks to notice. And Mike, while you cite ‘three of the four polls’, I notice that the Feb. 13 announcement of the Jan. 2012 poll has a link to the ‘full results’ but it actually takes you back to the September marriage amendment poll results. If that’s part of the 3 out of 4, you’re counting the same poll twice.

  • 10

    Lewis Guignard
    Lewis Guignard Feb 16, 2012 at 7:44

    Two problems. Question 20 – What year were you born? The answers are ages. Bad Editing.

    Where is Ron Paul in this??

    A comment to TR: Median is NOT the average – it is the mid point – which would alter some of your conclusions.

  • 11

    Mike P.
    Mike P. Feb 16, 2012 at 13:48

    TR, phrasing matters enormously in poll questions. If you ask ‘do you support an amendment to protect God’s definition of marriage?’ you will get much more support than if you ask ‘do you support an amendment that enshrines discrimination in the Constitution?’ There is disagreement about the amendment, and pollsters should not take sides on what it does; instead, they should simply ask the question that will actually appear on the ballot. That is question that Civitas asked here, and it the question that PPP asks in its amendment polls. If you want to get a figure that is close to reality, ask the question that will be on the ballot. The other questions that give ‘background’ are not ballot measures, they are policy issues that are not being voted on in May. If there is a measure that will be on the ballot, however, you need to use the actual language. That was set by the NCGA, not any pollster.

    As for PPP’s other polls, I am describing the polls from Oct., Nov, and Dec 2011 and Jan. 2012. Those are available on PPP’s website; I’d put the links here but they are long. The support-oppose-undecided figures on the marriage amendment for 18-29 year-olds are 53-44-3; 33-53-13; 65-29-6; and 51-40-9, respectively. Incidentally, the same figures for Democrats are 49-44-7; 42-48-10; 47-43-10; and 46-44-10. That means that 3 of the 4 polls they have done on the amendment (using the ballot language) have found majorities of 18-29 year olds in support and pluralities of Democrats in support. Democratic turnout could be through the roof, but if Democrats split 50/50 and Republicans support it 80/20, it will only mean more voters, not more ‘no’ votes. Democratic turnout was through the roof in 2008 in Florida, for example, and 53% of Democrats voted ‘no’ on the marriage amendment according to CNN’s exit polls. The amendment still got 62% of the vote because independents and Republicans support it. PPP has released figures in the governor’s race and Presidential race for February, but have not yet released their figures on the marriage amendment (I’m not sure why). It is possible that the polls could shift, but 3 of 4 polls is significant. It indicates certain structural factors about the Democratic base in NC, which includes heavily religious African-American voters, that mean many Democrats will vote ‘yes.’

  • 12

    Trackerman
    Trackerman Feb 17, 2012 at 10:12

    “Keep in mind when reviewing this data that 45% of the respondents were Democrats; 33% were Republicans; and 22% were independent.”

    Which is contrary to the responses reporting how people vote in a previous question. This poll is a laughing stock, but to the extent it keeps the cavemen and women distracted, it’s good.

  • 13

    Trackerman
    Trackerman Feb 17, 2012 at 10:23

    May we please see the details about this poll such as when it was conducted, how and the sample sizes for the various demographics? Credible polls offer that information.

  • 14

    Mike P.
    Mike P. Feb 17, 2012 at 10:24

    Trackerman,

    You are probably aware that Democrats outnumber Republicans in registration significantly in NC, but Republicans have usually won the state in Presidential races. Many Democrats and independents vote for Republicans. Fewer Republicans vote for Democrats. That’s why the question about ‘who you vote for’ came out the way it did.

  • 15

    Lex
    Lex Feb 17, 2012 at 11:10

    Some questions: By whom was this poll conducted? When? Sample size?

    Some observations:

    – If you add wording to the Amendment One question to explain that it would eliminate all civil unions (57% of North Carolinians favor those when asked directly), the numbers would almost certainly be less favorable to Amendment One.

    – It is true that capping the gas tax probably would mean slower construction of new roads. However, it also would mean slower repairs of existing roads, which would affect a lot more people day to day and therefore should have been mentioned in the question.

    – The question about teacher pay only offered the either-or choice of seniority vs. student performance. 7% *volunteered* the “both” answer, which is pretty high for a response that wasn’t offered. Had “both” been included in the question as a choice, I’m confident that number would have been substantially higher.

    – And, finally, a note to other commenters: “Socialism” and “progressivism” are not the same things. Socialism means the government owns the means of production. One can be progressive in one’s politics while still supporting private ownership of most or all means of production, and many people are.

  • 16

    Mike P.
    Mike P. Feb 17, 2012 at 13:22

    Lex, the thing about the marriage amendment is that the language has been set by the General Assembly. A pollster should not give information about what the amendment may or may not do with the intent of producing a different result. Not only is it irresponsible, but it is less likely to produce a result that is accurate. PPP -a Democratic firm that opposes the amendment- uses the same language, because that is what will actually appear to voters on the ballot.

  • 17

    Lex
    Lex Feb 17, 2012 at 13:59

    Mike, legislators can live with their own consciences and those of their respective electorates. And the people who put ballots together must use the specific language approved by the legislators. But pollsters have an affirmative duty to refrain from asking misleading questions.

    By withholding the effects of the action in this case (and in the gas-tax question), the pollsters are not framing the question in a way that is going to yield valid, internally consistent results. If the question were validly framed, then the percentages would more closely match the results you get when you ask people directly whether they favor or oppose civil unions.

  • 18

    Lex
    Lex Feb 17, 2012 at 14:00

    And I don’t care about PPP’s political affiliation. I’ve been a Republican for 34 years, which also isn’t relevant here.

  • 19

    Mike P.
    Mike P. Feb 17, 2012 at 16:02

    Lex,

    I was talking specifically about the marriage amendment in terms of wording. Giving background information is useful for policy issues but not for measures that will appear to voters on the ballot with specific wording. What does it mean to ‘validly framed’? How it should be framed is a matter for debate. Why should pollsters take a side? Voters are not going see ‘by the way, this bans civil unions’ on the ballot. If that is what opponents of the amendment want to discuss, they can do that. Presumably, pollsters are not seeking to influence public opinion, but only to measure it.

    I mentioned PPP’s affiliation because some other people have suggested that Civitas’ commissioned polls cannot be trusted because it is a conservative organization.

  • 20

    Lex
    Lex Feb 20, 2012 at 13:07

    Mike, it’s a matter of literal vs. contextual accuracy. A poll that is misleading to the respondent and a waste of time for the pollster and money for the organization commissioning the poll.

    Maybe you didn’t know that. If so, now you do.

    Maybe you did know that, and your goal here wasn’t so much to gauge public opinion as to gin up a “poll number” that might be used to bring the bandwagon effect to bear on leaning or undecided voters.

    I neither know nor care which is the case in this particular instance. I just know that a significant portion of this poll, as written, is junk. And now you know that other people know it and are talking about it. I leave them to their own conclusions.

    Cheers.

  • 21

    Lex
    Lex Feb 20, 2012 at 13:07

    Correction: A poll that DOESN’T CONTAIN BOTH is misleading to the etc.

  • 22

    Mike P.
    Mike P. Feb 20, 2012 at 16:45

    Lex, you can disagree with the poll all you like- and every poll PPP has done on the amendment since it was approved last year. If you reject polls that do not push your position but instead use the actual ballot language, that’s your decision. According to this poll -and, as I said, every poll PPP has done- even if all undecided voters opposed the amendment (which will not happen) it would still pass, comfortably. In any case, we can see the actual results in May.

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