Carolina Issues Poll

Carolina Issues Poll – November 2011

NC Policy Watch is happy to announce the release of a special Charlotte edition of its Carolina Issues Poll. The poll, which was conducted by the nationally recognized, Raleigh-based polling firm Public Policy Polling, quizzed 957 voters on October 29-31 regarding a wide variety of current issues, including:

  • The Charlotte mayoral election between incumbent Anthony Foxx and challenger Scott Stone,
  • The impact of the state sales tax cut enacted this summer,
  • The decision of state lawmakers to cut taxes and reduce public investments health, human services and the environment,
  • The idea of establishing a nonpartisan commission to handle the state’s redistricting process,
  • House Speaker Thom Tillis’s controversial “divide and conquer” speech,
  • Attitudes toward Occupy Wall Street and more.

Here are the basic results:

Democratic Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx enjoys a commanding lead in his run for re-election against Republican challenger, Scott Stone. Foxx leads his challenger in all age groups, all races, among men and women and among Democrats and Independents. Only amongst Republicans does the challenger lead.

Q1 The candidates for Mayor of Charlotte are Democrat Anthony Foxx and Republican Scott Stone. If the election was today, who would you vote for?

Foxx…………………………………………………..58%

Stone………………………………………………….32%

Not sure………………………………………………10%


When it comes to the performance of the North Carolina General Assembly, Charlotteans generally expressed skepticism about the decision to cut taxes and services.

Q2 On July 1st, the state sales tax was reduced by 1 cent. Has this had a positive or negative impact on your life, or has it not affected your life at all?

Positive effect ………………………………………….33%

Negative effect…………………………………………14%

Hasn’t affected your life at all…………………… 53%

Q3 As a result of the sales tax reduction and other tax cuts for corporations and upper-income households, lawmakers were forced to cut or eliminate funding to a number of health care programs, including prescription drug assistance for seniors, anti-smoking programs for teens, and home health services and dental care for many elderly and disabled adults. In general, do you think this was the right direction or the wrong direction for the state to take?

Right direction…………………………………………29%

Wrong direction……………………………………….52%

Not sure ………………………………………………….19%

Q4 The new state budget also cuts funding for a number of environmental protection programs, like the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and makes it much harder for the state to adopt new pollution control rules. Do you think this was the right direction or the wrong direction for the state to take?

Right direction………………………………………….30%

Wrong direction………………………………………..50%

Not sure …………………………………………………..19%


On the controversial topic of redistricting (Republican maps are currently under Justice system review), poll respondents expressed strong support for the establishment of a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

Q5 State lawmakers have adopted state and congressional legislative districts. These maps were drawn up by Republicans, and are opposed by Democrats. Some have suggested a nonpartisan commission could do a better job of drawing such maps. Would you support or oppose a proposal to establish a nonpartisan commission to oversee the redistricting process?

Support …………………………………………………..58%

Oppose ……………………………………………………24%

Not sure …………………………………………………..18%

With state lawmakers scheduled to return to Raleigh for another special session next week to deal with an, as yet, undisclosed agenda, poll respondents voiced overwhelming support for requiring lawmakers to publicize their plans prior to convening such sessions.

Q6 The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned in June, but leaders have scheduled multiple special sessions of just a few days each since then. Some people have raised the concern that legislative leaders have failed to notify the public ahead of time of the subjects that will be considered during these special sessions. Do you think leaders should be required to advise the public ahead of time of the subjects that will be considered during special legislative sessions or not?

Leaders should be required to advise the public of what subjects will be considered……86%

Don’t think they should be required to………….9%

Not sure …………………………………………………..5%

On the question of House Speaker Thom Tillis’ recent controversial statements, voters voiced strong disapproval for the lawmaker’s suggestion that disabled persons should “look down” on other recipients of public benefits. Respondents approved, however, of the general idea of drug testing state employees.

Q7 Recently, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County told an audience that he wanted to “divide and conquer” North Carolinians who receive public assistance by getting people with disabilities to “look down” upon people “who choose to a condition that makes them dependent upon the government.” Do you agree or disagree with Tillis’ sentiment?

Agree ……………………………………………………..26%

Disagree …………………………………………………52%

Not sure ………………………………………………….22%

Q8 At the same appearance, Tillis told his audience that he thought mandatory drug testing for all state employees was a good idea. Do you agree or disagree with mandatory drug testing for state employees?

Agree ……………………………………………………..62%

Disagree …………………………………………………32%

Not sure …………………………………………………..6%

Finally, on the matter of “Occupy Wall Street,” respondents had a narrowly positive view of the movement itself and a strongly favorable view of its central message.

Q9 Recently, a new movement has developed around the country under the name “Occupy Wall Street.” Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the movement?

Favorable………………………………………………..40%

Unfavorable …………………………………………….38%

Not sure …………………………………………………..21%

Q10 Occupy Wall Street has championed the idea that the wealthiest 1% of Americans has accumulated too much wealth and power. Do you agree or disagree with this idea?

Agree………………………………………………………58%

Disagree ………………………………………………….33%

Not sure ……………………………………………………9%

To read the entire poll, as well as the crosstabs, click here.