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North Carolinians and Medicaid Expansion

November 2018 Statewide Poll
November 27, 2018


RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, the Civitas Institute released the results of its’ November statewide poll. Respondents were asked their opinion on a number of state and federal issues, ranging from their 2020 presidential election preferences to their feelings regarding healthcare policy in North Carolina.

Those surveyed were also asked about their opinion on several North Carolina politicians: Gov. Roy Cooper, Sen. Thom Tillis, and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

Roy Cooper

Favorable                                                                               55%

Unfavorable                                                                          25%

No opinion/never heard of him/unsure/refused          21%

Thom Tillis

Favorable                                                                              34%

Unfavorable                                                                         32%

No opinion/never heard of him/unsure/refused        34%

Dan Forest

Favorable                                                                             21%

Unfavorable                                                                        11%

No opinion/never heard of him/unsure/refused       70%   

The poll also took a long look at North Carolinians’ opinion on Medicaid expansion, which has been a significant component of Obamacare. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they favored Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, while 26 percent stated their opposition.

However, when respondents were given descriptive information on Medicaid expansion, support for expanding the program declined markedly.

For example, when those surveyed were told, “Medicaid expansion would mainly cover healthy, working-age adults with no children. Many of [whom] already have private health insurance,” 52 percent said they’d be less likely to support expansion.

The same decline in support was found when respondents were told: “Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would likely add five hundred thousand new individuals to the program and would cost state taxpayers more than $340 million per year.” Fifty percent stated they were less likely to support expansion.

“While it appears that state House Democrats and a few Republican allies are going to make a push for Medicaid Expansion in next year’s legislative session, expansion is not a foregone conclusion,” said Civitas President Donald Bryson. “The devil is in the details and this poll finds that registered Republicans, unaffiliated voters, seniors, and women begin to have serious reservations about the cost of expansion and the newly covered population.”

Earlier, Civitas disseminated a press release highlighting voter preferences for the 2020 presidential election. When asked who they intended to vote for in the 2020 election for president:

Trump, regardless of opponent            35%

Democrat, no matter who it is              36%

Depends on Democratic nominee       21%

Unsure/Refused                                                   8%


This poll surveyed 650 likely voters in North Carolina. The margin of error is +/- 3.84%. Responses were gathered via landline (65%) and mobile (35%) telephone interviews conducted by live callers at a professional call center. The survey was conducted November 17-19, 2018 by Harper Polling. Total percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Poll Highlights

For questions, or to arrange an interview, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

Civitas has conducted live-caller voting in North Carolina since May 2005, and we are the only public policy organization offering statewide independent, nonpartisan data on a regular basis. Our polls have provided vital insights on what North Carolina voters think of the leaders and issues facing the state and nation.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization committed to advancing conservative ideas and shrinking the size of government. Civitas fights to eliminate government barriers to freedom so that North Carolinians can live a better life.

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