Sunday, September 8, 2013

North Carolina’s National Image Tanks After Less Than A Year Of Republican Governance

The wave of voter suppression laws, attacks on abortion and other hard right legislation being pushed through the North Carolina legislature has taken a considerable toll on the nation’s perception of that state. According to a new Public Policy Polling poll, North Carolina’s national favorability rating fell dramatically since the last time PPP measured the favorability of each state in the union — “[i]ts favorability has dropped from 40% to 30%, while the share of voters with an unfavorable opinion of it has more than doubled from 11% to 23%.” The drop was particularly sharp among African Americans, Hispanics and women:

In 2011 North Carolina stood out in the south as a state African Americans had a positive opinion of, at a 42/8 favorability rating. Now blacks see it negatively by a 19/30 spread. It’s a similar story with Hispanics- they gave the state a positive 50/9 favorability in 2011, now it’s a negative one at 20/39. There’s also been a steep decline with women. They gave the state a net +32 favorability in 2011 at 40/8, but that’s dropped all the way down to +3 at just 25/22.

In 2010, Republicans took over both houses of the state legislature for the first time since 1870, although they were kept somewhat at bay by the state’s Democratic governor. After Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) took office last January, however, the state has become a petri dish for tea party polices. The GOP’s electoral success came after a single wealthy individual, wholesale baron Art Pope, tapped into his considerable fortune to transform North Carolina into a Republican haven. As Jane Mayer reported in 2011, “three-quarters of the spending by independent groups in North Carolina’s 2010 state races came from accounts linked to” Pope.

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