Elon, NC-- Friday, poll results done at a Triad university, shows North Carolina residents back raising taxes on millionaires by a 2-to-1 margin. This may be an indication that people are listening to President Barack Obama and Democrats ahead of elections next year that promise to be held in a climate of persistently high unemployment.
The Elon University poll found that two-thirds of the people polled support raising taxes on Americans with incomes over $1 million per year, an idea Democrats have floated to pay for job stimulus and debt reduction. Nearly three out of 10 oppose the millionaire's surtax, while few are undecided. Pollsters also asked North Carolinians their view of how interested Obama and the majority Republicans in Congress are in working with each other to deal with the country's top issues.
Seventy percent perceive the GOP as uninterested in working with Obama while 23 percent believe Republicans are interested in cooperating. Obama is seen as interested in working with the Republican Party by 55 percent of poll participants, while another 39 percent see the president as uninterested in working together. "With Congress continuing to receive historically low approval ratings, it is not surprising that citizens are holding the majority party accountable for the lack of cooperation in Washington," said Mileah Kromer, the poll's assistant director. "The perceived lack of cooperation by the Republicans in Congress could be a political liability for them in this upcoming election year." But Obama's re-election prospects are dimmed by high unemployment. The nation's jobless rate fell to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent the previous month, the first drop since July and the lowest rate since April, the government said Friday. North Carolina's unemployment rate was 10.5 percent in October.
The Elon Poll does not measure eligible or likely voters, but takes a snapshot of general public opinion. The survey of 529 North Carolina adults was conducted between Sunday and Wednesday. Pollsters questioned participants who were at their homes and using either land-line or cell phones. The poll has a sampling error margin of 4 percentage points.
The opinion of Obama's job performance in what has become a keenly competitive state in next year's elections improved slightly since a similar survey in late September. Forty-seven percent of respondents now say they disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 43 percent approve. His job disapproval number is down four percentage points since the previous Elon poll. Obama's approval figure was about the same as it was late September, with a slightly larger number of respondents indicating they don't know how they feel of the way he is handling his job as president. While more than 80 percent of North Carolinians disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, this week's poll found slightly more people thought Democrats were doing a better job dealing with the country's main problems. Poll respondents gave Democrats a 33-27 edge, while 36 percent said neither party was coping with the top issues. When the same question was asked in late September, 28 percent said the Democrats were doing a better job and 31 percent said the Republicans. Another 34 percent were satisfied with neither party.
The poll also asked how respondents viewed Obama's North Carolina bus trip last month, during which he pushed for his proposed job-creation legislation. Forty-three percent of survey participants viewed the bus tour favorably while 33 percent viewed it unfavorably. North Carolina's Republican Party criticized the bus tour as little more than an early re-election foray. "A bump in approval since September is likely due to his recent presence in the state, showing that taking his message on the road is a valuable political strategy for his re-election effort," Kromer said.