A new poll suggests that the state budget authored by Republican legislators is very unpopular with North Carolina voters, even in the home districts of Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 563 voters from across the state last week, as well as 576 voters in Tillis’ district and 527 voters in Phil Berger’s district.
Only 23 percent of voters across the state support the budget, compared to 41 percent who are opposed and 36 percent who expressed no opinion.
The GOP budget had only marginally more support in Tillis' Mecklenburg County district, with 24 percent of voters in favor and 41 percent opposed. In Berger's district in Rockingham and Guilford counties, there was 27 percent support for the budget with 44 percent in opposition.
According to an analysis by the pollsters, the budget polled as being so unpopular because Democrats and independents are strongly opposed to it, while Republicans are divided. Statewide, Democrats are against the budget by a 36-point margin (15 to 51) and independents are opposed by an 18-point spread (23 to 41), while Republicans support it by only six points (33 to 27).
Cuts to education are at the center of voter opposition to the budget. Statewide only 36 percent of voters think that it's most important to end the temporary 1-cent sales tax compared to 50 percent who think it's more vital to minimize cuts to education spending.
“Governor Perdue’s veto of the budget is likely to be a political winner for her,” Dean Debnam, the president of PPP, said in a release. “Voters agree with her that it’s more important to protect education than make a small reduction in the sales tax.”
PPP typically works for Democratic candidates, but has a reputation for accurate polls that are not biased to favor that party. The full list of questions asked by the pollsters is avaliable here.