Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina voters are warming back up to an idea that caught on in the mid 1990s but was never implemented – term limits.
According to the live caller poll of 600 likely voters, 73 percent said they would support term limits for members of the General Assembly. Only 19 percent said they were opposed. Eight percent said they were not sure.
“With more and more career politicians seeming to fall under the spell of the power of their position, voters are resurrecting an old idea to combat corruption,” said Civitas Institute Executive Director Francis De Luca. “Voter dissatisfaction with politicians of both parties is leading to ideas such as term limits resurfacing.”
Additionally, when asked an open-ended question as to what one change could be made to North Carolina state government to clean up corruption, term limits garnered the most responses.
While voters seem ready to place term limits on the General Assembly, they seem to oppose the prospect of reinstating the one-term limit on the Governor. Only 44 percent of voters said they wanted to go back to the pre-1976 law that limited the governor to one term. Forty-nine percent of voters said they were opposed and wished to keep the current two term limit.
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more polling information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.
Full text of questions:
Do you support or oppose term limits for members of the General Assembly?
Strongly Support – 48%
Somewhat Support – 25%
Somewhat Oppose – 9%
Strongly Oppose – 10%
Not Sure – 8%
Prior to 1976, North Carolina limited the governor to serving only one, four-year term in office. The law was then changed to allow two, four-year terms. Do you support or oppose changing the law back to allowing a governor to serve only one term?
Strongly Support – 30%
Somewhat Support – 13%
Somewhat Oppose – 13%
Strongly Oppose – 36%
Not Sure – 7%
If you could make one change to clean up corruption in North Carolina State Government, what would it be? (Open ended responses)
Term limits – 11%
Clean house/start over – 5%
More honesty in government – 4%
Hold accountable for actions – 3%
Full list of verbatim responses here.
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted Dec 1-3, 2009 by Tel Opinion Research of Arlington, 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 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
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 either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.