N.C. residents split on Obama’s performance

North Carolinians are evenly divided on the way President Barack Obama is handling his job as president, according to the latest Elon University Poll. Nearly half of poll respondents favored an end to tax cuts for households making more than $250,000 a year but keeping cuts in place for everyone else.

The poll, conducted Sept. 20-23, 2010, surveyed 584 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general, with numbers that include both landlines and cellular phones. The Elon University Poll does not restrict respondents by voter eligibility.

Poll respondents give Obama higher marks on his job approval than they do Congress.

Job Approval

President Barack Obama

  • Approve: 47.3 percent
  • Disapprove: 47.5 percent


  • Approve: 23 percent
  • Disapprove: 68 percent

Tax Cuts

Forty-three percent of North Carolinians favored ending tax cuts for households making more than $250,000 a year, but keeping tax cuts for everyone else. Thirty-five percent would prefer to keep tax cuts in place for everyone, while 11 percent would prefer to let the tax cuts expire.

Fall 2010 Midterm Elections

Based on a generic ballot for the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina, the Democratic Party leads the Republican Party by 6 percent, though nearly a third of respondents “don’t know” or are undecided on how they will vote in November in that race.

U.S. Senate 

  • Democratic (34%)
  • Republican (28%)
  • Libertarian (2.5%)
  • Other (5.3%)
  • Undecided/Don’t know (30%)

In their evaluation of North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, more respondents approve than disapprove of the way he is handling his job. However, nearly half of residents think it is time to give a new person a chance, while only 29 percent believe Burr deserves re-election.

“An atmosphere of discontent continues to cloud this political season,” said Elon University Poll director Hunter Bacot. “Citizens remain ambivalent toward both parties and the candidates.”

When asked if they approved of the way N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue is handling her job, 43 percent of North Carolinians expressed approval while 44 percent said they disapproved.

Residents also rated how qualified they believed North Carolina’s U.S. Senate candidates are in their pursuit of office. On a scale of 1-10:

Richard Burr (Republican)

  • Not Qualified (1-4): 18%
  • Moderately Qualified (5): 22%
  • Highly Qualified (6-10): 44%
  • Don’t Know: 16%

Elaine Marshall (Democrat)

  • Not Qualified (1-4): 12%
  • Moderately Qualified (5): 14%
  • Highly Qualified (6-10): 27%
  • Don’t Know: 46%

Mike Beitler (Libertarian)

  • Not Qualified (1-4): 9%
  • Moderately Qualified (5): 12%
  • Highly Qualified (6-10): 5%
  • Don’t Know: 74%