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New Statewide Poll Shows Positive Views of Municipal Government

November 16, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     
November 16, 2015
Contact: Scott Mooneyham
(919) 715-9768
smooneyham@nclm.org
 
New Statewide Poll Shows Positive Views of Municipal Government

More Than 75 Percent of North Carolinians Satisfied with Services and Amenities Provided by Towns and Cities
 
More than two out of three likely voters in North Carolina approve of the performance of their city or town government, according to new statewide public opinion survey released today by the North Carolina League of Municipalities. The poll also found that 75 percent of state residents would support giving local government more decision-making authority through so-called home rule.
 
 

“Even as other surveys demonstrate declining trust in public institutions generally, these findings show that North Carolinians overwhelmingly view municipal government and the services provided by municipal government positively,” said NCLM Board Member and Cary Town Council Member Jennifer Robinson. “These results should come as no surprise. People want government decisions to be made locally because they feel like they have more control over those decisions.”
 
The survey of 600 likely general election voters was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates via live telephone. It was conducted Oct. 25-27. The accuracy of the sample of likely general election voters is within plus or minus 4.0 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
 
The poll showed residents with positive views of the quality of life in their local communities and that they are highly satisfied with the services and amenities provided by municipal government. Seventy-three percent of respondents rated the quality of life in their city or town as excellent or good, while 78 percent stated that they were satisfied with the services and amenities provided in their town or city.
 
The overwhelmingly positive views cut across political lines and the urban-rural divide in the state. Seventy-two percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Independents gave positive job approval ratings to their city or town government, while 71 percent of (self-identified) urban dwellers, 70 percent of suburban residents and 67 percent of rural residents viewed the job performance of their city or town positively.
 
On the question of local decision-making and home rule, 77 percent of Republicans supported adopting “home rule,” compared to 74 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Independents.
 
The poll also examined an issue that could come before the 2016 North Carolina General Assembly – local control of billboards. Asked if the size and location of billboards should be controlled locally or at the state level, 79 percent said those decisions are best made at the local level, compared to 16 percent at the state level. An identical percentage of respondents – 79 percent – said billboard owners should not be given the right to compensation that other business owners do not have.
 
About the League
 
The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a membership association of 540 great hometowns – representing nearly every municipality in the state. The League advocates for its members, from the largest city to the smallest village, on the full range of legislative issues that affect municipalities.
 
For more than 100 years, the League has promoted – and continues to promote – good government by offering non-partisan advocacy, insurance and other services – as directed by its membership.
 
Exact poll questions, in the order that they were asked, follow:
 
OVERALL, WOULD YOU SAY THINGS IN NORTH CAROLINA ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OR WOULD YOU SAY THINGS HAVE
GOTTEN OFF ON THE WRONG TRACK?
(Net Diff = RIGHT DIRECTION - WRONG TRACK)
Total 600
RIGHT DIRECTION 40.2
WRONG TRACK 51.7
DK/REFUSED 8.1
Net Diff -11.5
 
 
OVERALL, WOULD YOU SAY THINGS IN YOUR CITY OR TOWN ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OR WOULD YOU SAY THINGS HAVE
GOTTEN OFF ON THE WRONG TRACK?
(Net Diff = RIGHT DIRECTION - WRONG TRACK)
Total 600
RIGHT DIRECTION 60.4
WRONG TRACK 33.8
DK/REFUSED 5.8
Net Diff 26.5
 
 
OVERALL, DO YOU APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE OF THE JOB YOUR CITY OR TOWN GOVERNMENT IS DOING?
(Net Diff = APPROVE - DISAPPROVE)
Total 600
APPROVE 68.5
STRONGLY 18.2
SOMEWHAT 50.2
DISAPPROVE 26.3
SOMEWHAT 15.4
STRONGLY 10.9
DK/REFUSED 5.2
Net Diff 42.2
 
OVERALL, HOW WOULD RATE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN YOUR CITY OR TOWN? WOULD YOU SAY IT’S…?
(Net Diff = POSITIVE - NEGATIVE)
Total 600
POSITIVE 73.3
EXCELLENT 21.8
GOOD 51.4
NEGATIVE 26.5
ONLY FAIR 20.1
POOR 6.5
DK/REFUSED 0.2
Net Diff 46.7
 
OVERALL, ARE YOU SATISFIED OR DISSATISFIED WITH THE SERVICES AND AMENITIES PROVIDED BY YOUR CITY OR TOWN?
(Net Diff = SATISFIED - DISSATISFIED)
Total 600
SATISFIED 78.4
VERY 28.9
SOMEWHAT 49.6
DISSATISFIED 20.2
SOMEWHAT 12.8
VERY 7.5
DK/REFUSED 1.3
Net Diff 58.2

IN NORTH CAROLINA, THE STATE GIVES CITIES AND TOWNS LIMITED AUTHORITY. IN SOME STATES, KNOWN AS “HOME RULE”
STATES, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE AUTHORITY INDEPENDENT FROM THE STATE, AND LOCALLY-ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE MORE POWER TO
MAKE DECISIONS THAT CANNOT BE OVERRULED BY STATE LEGISLATURES.
WOULD YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE NORTH CAROLINA ADOPTING THESE “HOME RULES,” GIVING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS MORE AUTHORITY
INDEPENDENT FROM THE STATE?
(Net Diff = SUPPORT - OPPOSE)
Total 600
SUPPORT 74.6
STRONGLY 45.5
SOMEWHAT 29.1
OPPOSE 19.2
SOMEWHAT 9.7
STRONGLY 9.5
DK/REFUSED 6.2
Net Diff 55.4
 
DO YOU BELIEVE THE SIZE AND LOCATION OF BILLBOARDS IN YOUR CITY OR TOWN SHOULD BE CONTROLLED LOCALLY OR BY THE
STATE?
(Net Diff = LOCALLY - STATE)
Total 600
LOCALLY 78.7
STATE 15.7
DK/REFUSED 5.6
Net Diff 63.0
 
DO YOU BELIEVE BILLBOARD OWNERS SHOULD BE TREATED ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHER BUSINESS PROPERTY OWNERS BY STATE AND
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS?
(Net Diff = YES - NO)
Total 600
YES 14.5
NO 78.6
DK/REFUSED 6.9
Net Diff -64.1
    

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham