May 2012 Poll Results

This poll of 600 registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina was conducted May 19-20, 2012 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past three general elections (2006, 2008, 2010) or be newly registered to vote since November 2, 2010.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in at least one of the past three general elections or is newly registered since November 2, 2010.

More information on the Civitas Institute is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099.

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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.
    • 91.2%
      10
    • 3%
      9
    • 2%
      8
    • 0.8%
      7
    • 1.8%
      5
    • 0.2%
      2
    • 0.8%
      1
    • 0.2%
      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?
    • 23.5%
      Right Direction
    • 62.7%
      Wrong Track
    • 13.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  3. And if the election for North Carolina State Legislature were held today, would you be voting for the:
    • 43.9%
      Republican candidate
    • 40%
      Democratic candidate
    • 2.7%
      Neither
    • 13.4%
      Don't Know/Refused
  4. Now I am going to read you a list of people active in politics. After I read each name, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person. If you never heard of them, just tell me and we’ll go on to the next one…the first one is: Barack Obama
    • 33.8%
      Very Favorable
    • 14.1%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 11.3%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 38.3%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 2%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 0.5%
      Never heard of
  5. Mitt Romney
    • 20.4%
      Very Favorable
    • 28.4%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 12.8%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 28.9%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 8%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 1.7%
      Never heard of
  6. Pat McCrory
    • 23.9%
      Very Favorable
    • 25.2%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 7.6%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 12.3%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 16.3%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 14.8%
      Never heard of
  7. Walter Dalton
    • 10.9%
      Very Favorable
    • 23.1%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 12.9%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 8.5%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 21.1%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 23.5%
      Never heard of
  8. Bev Perdue
    • 15.9%
      Very Favorable
    • 21.6%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 12.9%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 36.7%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 10.3%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 2.7%
      Never heard of
  9. Thom Tillis
    • 3%
      Very Favorable
    • 6.5%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 4%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 6.1%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 17.9%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 62.5%
      Never heard of
  10. Phil Berger
    • 3%
      Very Favorable
    • 7.1%
      Somewhat Favorable
    • 2.3%
      Somewhat Unfavorable
    • 3.3%
      Very Unfavorable
    • 18.7%
      Heard of, no opinion
    • 65.5%
      Never heard of
  11. Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing as President of the United States?
    • 31.3%
      Strongly Approve
    • 17.7%
      Somewhat Approve
    • 8.1%
      Somewhat Disapprove
    • 39.5%
      Strongly Disapprove
    • 3.3%
      Don't Know/Refused
  12. 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?
    • 40.8%
      Definitely Romney
    • 5.1%
      Probably Romney
    • 2.5%
      Lean Romney
    • 6.1%
      Undecided
    • 0.8%
      Lean Obama
    • 4%
      Probably Obama
    • 38.8%
      Definitely Obama
    • 1.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  13. Open-ended: And, in your own words, can you please tell me why you are voting this way?
  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 Walter Dalton, the Democrat?
    • 36.3%
      Definitely McCrory
    • 9.6%
      Probably McCrory
    • 3.6%
      Lean McCrory
    • 11.9%
      Undecided
    • 2.3%
      Lean Dalton
    • 9.1%
      Probably Dalton
    • 25.7%
      Definitely Dalton
    • 1.3%
      Don't Know/Refused
  15. If the election for North Carolina Supreme Court were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: Paul Newby or Sam Ervin?
    • 4%
      Definitely Newby
    • 2.5%
      Probably Newby
    • 0.7%
      Lean Newby
    • 70.6%
      Undecided
    • 2.8%
      Lean Ervin
    • 7.5%
      Probably Ervin
    • 7.5%
      Definitely Ervin
    • 4.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  16. Split Sample

    • If the election for North Carolina Supreme Court were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: Paul Newby, the Republican or Sam Ervin, the Democrat?
      • 14%
        Definitely Newby
      • 6.7%
        Probably Newby
      • 2.7%
        Lean Newby
      • 41.7%
        Undecided
      • 3%
        Lean Ervin
      • 12.7%
        Probably Ervin
      • 16.7%
        Definitely Ervin
      • 2.7%
        Don't Know/Refused
    • If the election for North Carolina Supreme Court were held today and you had to make a choice, for whom would you vote if the candidates were: Paul Newby, the incumbent or Sam Ervin, the challenger?
      • 7.3%
        Definitely Newby
      • 2.6%
        Probably Newby
      • 0.7%
        Lean Newby
      • 63.7%
        Undecided
      • 2%
        Lean Ervin
      • 11.6%
        Probably Ervin
      • 8.6%
        Definitely Ervin
      • 3.6%
        Don't Know/Refused
  17. Do you support or oppose reducing North Carolina's Gas Tax from 39 cents per gallon to 35 cents per gallon?
    • 57.5%
      Strongly Support
    • 15.1%
      Somewhat Support
    • 7.8%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 13.8%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 5.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  18. Multiple Choices Accepted: If you were to learn that reducing the Gas Tax will result in less money being available for transportation projects across the state, and due to the tax reduction, spending reductions were also necessary, please tell me which programs you would support cutting or slowing down in order to reduce the gas tax. Here they are – and you can choose more than one: Asked of those indicating support in the previous question
    • 26.7%
      New road construction
    • 12.6%
      Resurfacing and repaving projects
    • 7.1%
      Bridge replacement and maintenance
    • 59.6%
      Light rail and mass transit
    • 6.8%
      None
    • 2.1%
      Other
    • 8.9%
      Don't Know/Refused
  19. Currently in North Carolina there is a total ban on drilling for Natural Gas and Oil. The legislature is considering lifting that ban. Would you support lifting the ban to allow:
    • 8.6%
      Offshore drilling for oil and natural gas
    • 10%
      Drilling for natural gas on land
    • 49.4%
      Both
    • 23.1%
      Neither
    • 9%
      Don't Know/Refused
  20. Split Sample

    • Current Democratic Governor Bev Perdue and the Democratic nominee for Governor, Walter Dalton, have proposed raising the sales tax by 1 billion dollars. Do you believe the Legislature should accept their proposal to raise the sales tax 1 billion dollars?
      • 20.3%
        Yes
      • 66.7%
        No
      • 13%
        Don't Know/Refused
    • Current Democratic Governor Bev Perdue and the Democratic nominee for Governor, Walter Dalton, have proposed raising the sales tax by three quarters of a penny. Do you believe the Legislature should accept their proposal to raise the sales tax by three quarters of a penny?
      • 34.7%
        Yes
      • 56.4%
        No
      • 8.9%
        Don't Know/Refused
  21. Thinking only about the public schools in your county, Please tell me on a grading scale of A-F what grade you would give the Public Schools in your county?
    • 6.5%
      F
    • 1.5%
      D-
    • 6%
      D
    • 1.2%
      D+
    • 2.7%
      C-
    • 19.6%
      C
    • 6.3%
      C+
    • 4.6%
      B-
    • 22.2%
      B
    • 5.8%
      B+
    • 1%
      A-
    • 9%
      A
    • 1.3%
      A+
    • 12.4%
      Don't Know/Refused
  22. Thinking about all the public schools in the entire state of North Carolina, Please tell me on a grading scale of A-F what grade you would give the entire system of Public Schools in North Carolina?
    • 5.1%
      F
    • 1.7%
      D-
    • 8.5%
      D
    • 5.8%
      C-
    • 24.7%
      C
    • 6.6%
      C+
    • 4%
      B-
    • 14.4%
      B
    • 4.1%
      B+
    • 0.7%
      A-
    • 4%
      A
    • 0.2%
      A+
    • 20.2%
      Don't Know/Refused
  23. Please tell me on a grading scale of A-F what grade you would give the Private Schools in your area? If there are none just say so.
    • 41%
      None
    • 1.7%
      F
    • 0.7%
      D
    • 0.2%
      D+
    • 0.3%
      C-
    • 4.5%
      C
    • 1.8%
      C+
    • 1.3%
      B-
    • 20.7%
      B
    • 6.5%
      B+
    • 2.8%
      A-
    • 14.6%
      A
    • 3.2%
      A+
    • 0.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  24. Please tell me on a grading scale of A-F what grade would you give the Charter Schools in your area? If there are none just say so.
    • 50.1%
      None
    • 2.5%
      F
    • 0.2%
      D-
    • 1.7%
      D
    • 0.2%
      D+
    • 0.7%
      C-
    • 8.3%
      C
    • 1.3%
      C+
    • 1.5%
      B-
    • 15.6%
      B
    • 5%
      B+
    • 1.7%
      A-
    • 8.8%
      A
    • 1.7%
      A+
    • 1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  25. Of the following statements, please tell me which best describes your current situation:
    • 23.2%
      I have at least one school age child in North Carolina.
    • 4.6%
      None of my children are school age yet, but will attend school in North Carolina when they are.
    • 43.1%
      All of my children are past school age, but attended school in North Carolina when they did so.
    • 25.5%
      I have never had children in a North Carolina School or don't currently have children.
    • 3.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  26. Multiple Choices Accepted: Which of the following describes the education setting your children currently have, will have in the future, or have had in the past: Asked of those who have had, currently have, or will have children in school in North Carolina
    • 85%
      North Carolina public school
    • 15.2%
      North carolina private school
    • 5.1%
      North carolina charter school
    • 4.2%
      Home schooling in the state of North Carolina
    • 1.9%
      Other
    • 2.6%
      Don't Know/Refused
  27. Social promotion refers to the practice of advancing a child to the next grade level without demonstrated mastery of subject at their grade-level. Do you support or oppose ending the policy of social promotion of third graders who are not reading at grade-level in North Carolina public schools?
    • 32.8%
      Strongly Support
    • 9.6%
      Somewhat Support
    • 14.3%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 32.8%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 10.4%
      Don't Know/Refused
  28. North Carolina Board of Education currently rates every public school in North Carolina on a scale from the highest - "honor school of excellence" to the lowest - "school of priority"- some people believe this scale is confusing and have proposed changing to a rating system where each school is given a grade on an A to F scale. Do you support or oppose changing the rating scale to give each school a grade of A - F?
    • 42.5%
      Strongly Support
    • 21.2%
      Somewhat Support
    • 7.5%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 7.3%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 21.6%
      Don't Know/Refused
  29. Split Sample

    • Currently, teachers in North Carolina public schools are awarded "tenure" - or a guaranteed job teaching for life - after 4 years in the classroom. There is a proposal to end the tenure program and replace it with a system of multi-year contracts for teachers. This program would make it easier for local administrators and school boards to get poor performing teachers out of the classroom. Would you support or oppose the proposal to end tenure for teachers in North Carolina Public Schools?
      • 60%
        Strongly Support
      • 15.3%
        Somewhat Support
      • 6%
        Somewhat Oppose
      • 10.7%
        Strongly Oppose
      • 8%
        Don't Know/Refused
    • Currently, teachers in North Carolina public schools are awarded "tenure" - or a guaranteed job teaching for life - after 4 years in the classroom. There is a proposal to end the tenure program and replace it with a system of one year contracts for teachers. This program would make it easier for local administrators and school boards to get poor performing teachers out of the classroom. Would you support or oppose the proposal to end tenure for teachers in North Carolina Public Schools?
      • 48.5%
        Strongly Support
      • 18.5%
        Somewhat Support
      • 5.9%
        Somewhat Oppose
      • 15.5%
        Strongly Oppose
      • 11.6%
        Don't Know/Refused
  30. In 2011, the legislature added 5 instructional days to the 180 school calendar by converting 5 teacher workdays when students did not attend class into instructional days for students. Because of that change North Carolina now has 185 instructional days and 10 teacher workdays. Do you support or oppose this increase of instructional days in the school year?
    • 39.5%
      Strongly Support
    • 21.9%
      Somewhat Support
    • 8.1%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 16.3%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 14.3%
      Don't Know/Refused
  31. And please tell me if you support or oppose: A proposal to require end of grade tests to be given during the last ten days of the school year to maximize instructional time for students?
    • 43.4%
      Strongly Support
    • 19.9%
      Somewhat Support
    • 8%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 12.9%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 15.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  32. A proposal to allow local school districts to develop merit pay systems that allow the best teachers to earn extra pay?
    • 56.7%
      Strongly Support
    • 23.1%
      Somewhat Support
    • 5.5%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 7.3%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 7.5%
      Don't Know/Refused
  33. A proposal to create an intensive reading and literacy program that included special reading intensive classes, and summer reading camps for students who complete the third grade but are not reading at grade level?
    • 67.2%
      Strongly Support
    • 20.4%
      Somewhat Support
    • 2.7%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 3.6%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 6.1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  34. As you may know, a bill was filed recently that aims to compensate North Carolina residents who were sterilized against their will between 1933 and 1974. Under this bill, over eleven million dollars of the state's budget will be used, paying fifty thousand dollars to both living and dead people who underwent the procedure. This would make North Carolina the first state to offer such compensation. With that information, would you support or oppose this bill?
    • 30.7%
      Strongly Support
    • 15.4%
      Somewhat Support
    • 10.1%
      Somewhat Oppose
    • 28.7%
      Strongly Oppose
    • 15.1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  35. Still thinking about this issue, please tell me which opinion comes closer to your own...
    • 42.5%
      Some people say that the proposed bill is a step in the right direction. They say that while nothing will make them whole again, giving each person some financial compensation is a start. They also say it would be a milestone for North Carolina to be the first state to institute such a program.
    • 41%
      Other people say that the proposed bill is a bad idea because financial compensation after all these years is an empty gesture, and there are better and more appropriate ways to acknowledge this part of the North Carolina’s past, and the plight of those involved.
    • 16.6%
      Don't Know/Refused
  36. In what year were you born?
    • 2.5%
      18-25
    • 9.1%
      26-40
    • 32%
      41-55
    • 23.1%
      56-65
    • 26.2%
      66+
    • 7.1%
      Don't Know/Refused
  37. In terms of your current employment status, would you say you…
    • 9.8%
      Are self-employed
    • 29.7%
      Work for a private company
    • 8.8%
      Work for Government
    • 4.5%
      Are a Spouse (homemaker)
    • 34.2%
      Are Retired
    • 8.3%
      Are Unemployed
    • 4.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  38. If you were to label yourself, would you say you are a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative in your political beliefs?
    • 9.3%
      Very Liberal
    • 9.5%
      Somewhat Liberal
    • 32%
      Moderate
    • 19.6%
      Somewhat Conservative
    • 22.1%
      Very Conservative
    • 7.6%
      Don't Know/Refused
  39. Which category best describes your race or ethnicity?
    • 77.3%
      White or Caucasian
    • 15.9%
      African-American
    • 2%
      Hispanic or Latino
    • 1.7%
      Native American
    • 1%
      Asian/Pacific Islander
    • 1%
      Other
    • 1.2%
      Don't Know/Refused
  40. What is the highest level of schooling you completed?
    • 5.3%
      Less than HS Graduate
    • 23.2%
      High School Graduate
    • 20.7%
      2 yr. College/Technical School
    • 29.7%
      4 yr. College Graduate
    • 17.2%
      Post-Graduate
    • 3.8%
      Don't Know/Refused
  41. Now I am going to read you a range of annual household incomes. When I get to the one that best describes you annual household income, just let me know and I will move on to the next question…
    • 16.3%
      Twenty five thousand dollars or less
    • 17.4%
      Between 25 and 50 thousand dollars
    • 16.7%
      Between 50 and 75 thousand dollars
    • 9.6%
      Between 75 and 100 thousand dollars
    • 10%
      Between 100 and 150 thousand dollars
    • 4%
      Between 150 and 200 thousand dollars
    • 2.7%
      Over 200 thousand dollars
    • 23.4%
      Don't Know/Refused
  42. Gender
    • 49.1%
      Men
    • 50.9%
      Women
  43. Geographic area
    • 21.7%
      Charlotte
    • 13.4%
      Western
    • 18.7%
      Piedmont Triad
    • 20.6%
      Triangle
    • 11.9%
      Northeast
    • 13.6%
      Southeast
  44. Party Registration
    • 33.2%
      Republican
    • 46.8%
      Democrat
    • 20.1%
      Independent/Other

This article was posted in Poll Results by Civitas Staff on June 4, 2012 at 4:44 PM.

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

Comments on this article

  • 1

    Patricia S. Broderick
    Patricia S. Broderick Jun 06, 2012 at 12:00

    Surprising in some areas……need more voter education! I would like to participate as I receive AND APPRECIATE your newspaper, and am a member.

  • 2

    James Rhodes
    James Rhodes Jun 06, 2012 at 12:24

    I’m in favor of merit pay for both teachers AND administrators, but I want to know WHO is going to be the judge primarily of teachers’ performance. WHO is going to judge the administrators’ performance? What is going to be the criteria for these decisions?
    Who is going to develop these criteria? These are critical questions that MUST be answered before a satisfactory conclusion can be reached in EACH of these situations. Having been a teacher and taught under a yearly contract basis as opposed to tenure I KNOW the problems involved. I have yet to see an administrator who is cognizant of all the problems(day to day) that occur in the classroom. All too frequently the outcome is a result of personal likes and/or dislikes, NOT performance!

  • 3

    Tere Heel Texan
    Tere Heel Texan Jun 06, 2012 at 22:35

    The problem is that “education” is top-loaded with administrators. Young teachers come into the system as classroom teachers whose goals are to teach. Before long their goals have shifted. Now they strive to become administrators. Why? because that’e where the money is. Look around the school; chances are that you will find three assistant principals for every principal. That’s just an example. The public usually thinks of “teachers” in the classic sense, lumping every school official as “teacher”. That’s why, when they want a pay raise, the first thing you usually hear is that “teachers” need raises. Take a look at whom those raises go to and see what percentage of the recipients are administrators. Let’s start completely separating “classroon teachers” from “administrators”, and treat their demands and needs accordingly. If, as I suspect, your school has a plethora of “administrators”, give thought to reducing that number first. Thanks.

  • 4

    david esmay
    david esmay Jul 02, 2012 at 17:11

    The phrasing of a number of the questions is misleading, for instance, if you had asked the question regarding the restoration of the 1 cent sales tax as a way to increase funding for education instead of framing it as a 1 billion dollar tax increase, the results would have been much different. Civitas structured many of the questions to affirm what they consider to be the “correct” answers, skewing the results.

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