N.C. favors higher taxes on millionaires, unhappy with Congress

Two out of three North Carolinians support the increase of taxes on Americans making more than $1 million a year, according to the latest Elon University Poll, and a majority of respondents believe that President Barack Obama is more willing to work with Republicans than the GOP is willing to work with the president.

The poll, conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2011, surveyed 529 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.26 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 or likelihood of voting.

Forty-seven percent of respondents disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president – 43 percent approve – though the numbers were nearly reversed in how people view him personally. Forty-seven percent of respondents had a favorable view; 42 percent expressed unfavorable views.

The disapproval number is down four percentage points since an Elon University Poll in late September. Obama’s approval figure has remained fixed, 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.

When asked how they viewed Obama’s recent bus trip to North Carolina, a visit where he lobbied the public for support of his proposed jobs legislation in Washington, 43 percent viewed it in a favorable light, and 33 percent viewed it unfavorably.

“As we head into an election year, all of President Obama’s activity will serve the dual purpose of both governing and campaigning,” said Mileah Kromer, assistant director of the Elon University Poll. “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 reelection effort.”

Jobs Bill and Millionaire Surtax

Obama’s jobs bill has caught the attention of North Carolinians. Forty-eight percent of respondents indicate that they have been following news about the jobs bill “somewhat closely,” while another 26 percent indicate they have been following news about the jobs bill “very closely.”

Sixty-six percent of North Carolinians support raising taxes on Americans with incomes over $1 million per year, while 28 percent oppose it.

U.S. Congress

More than 80 percent of North Carolinians disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job. When asked who was doing the best job dealing with the main issues the nation:

  • Democrats: 33 percent
  • Republicans: 27 percent
  • Neither Party: 36 percent

Cooperation in Washington

North Carolinians were asked how interested Republicans in Congress and Obama are in working with each other to deal with the main issues facing the nation. In regard to Republicans:

  • 70 percent perceive the GOP as uninterested in working with Obama
  • 23 percent perceive the GOP to be interested in doing so

In regard to Obama:

  • 55 percent perceive Obama as interested in working with the Republican Party
  • 39 percent perceive Obama as uninterested in doing so

“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,” Kromer said. “The perceived lack of cooperation by the Republicans in Congress could be a political liability for them in this upcoming election year.”

2012 Election

Eighty-five percent of North Carolinians view the upcoming 2012 elections as important for our nation, while 13 percent view it is unimportant.

The candidate they would support if the presidential election were held today:

  • The Democratic Candidate: 34 percent
  • The Republican Candidate: 30 percent
  • Undecided at This Time: 30 percent

The candidate they would support in their district if the congressional elections were held today:

  • The Democratic Candidate: 31 percent
  • The Republican Candidate: 30 percent
  • Undecided at This Time: 36 percent