North Carolina voters are optimistic after GOP dominated state election, poll finds

Nearly 54% believe American economy is in "poor" shape.

Updated: November 18, 2022 - 11:07pm

More North Carolina voters feel better about the direction of the country after Republicans dominated the state’s elections last week, according to a new poll.

A Cygnal Polling survey of 600 likely general election voters conducted Nov. 12-14 found 32% believe the country is headed in the right direction, a 10% improvement over the 22% who said the same in October.

The poll, commissioned by the John Locke Foundation, showed the percentage who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction declined 10% from 73% in October to 63% following the election. The poll’s margin of error is 3.99%.

The survey results follows a midterm election in which North Carolina Republicans swept all statewide races and came within one seat of a supermajority in the General Assembly, defying the party’s lackluster performance nationwide. The election also flipped the North Carolina Supreme Court from a 4-3 Democrat majority to a 5-2 Republican majority, though Democrats won the state’s most competitive congressional races.

The Cygnal poll found 28% of respondents cast split ballots, supporting some Democrats and some Republicans, while 36% voted only for Republicans and 35% only for Democrats. The issue that mattered most on Election Day for 32% those polled was the economy, followed by 25% who said abortion, and 16% who said inflation.

"Overall, Republicans in North Carolina had a better night than Republicans across the nation, but they definitely left points on the field," John Locke Foundation President Donald Bryson told The Carolina Journal. "It seems like Republicans may have cost themselves a lot of votes due to vague messaging about their policy agenda, such as with the Congressional Republican Commitment to America plan."

Only 39% of those polled believe Republicans did well articulating their plans and visions for the country, while 45.9% believe they did poorly. In comparison, 48.3% thought Democrats did well, and 33.1% thought they did poorly.

The poll also delved into questions about the economy, inflation and home affordability.

Only six people or 1% polled believe the American economy is currently "great," while 11% rated it "good," 34% said "fair," and nearly 54% believe it’s in "poor" shape. Those figures also factored into 59% of those polled who believe the U.S. is currently in a recession, compared to 28% who do not agree, and 12.6% who are unsure.

Forty-four percent believe inflation will get worse over the next six months, 19% believe inflation will remain the same, and about 26% believe the inflation rate will improve. About 71% of those polled said inflation will influence how or if they intend to buy gifts for the holidays, while 26% said it’s not a factor.

A staggering 83% of respondents told pollsters they are concerned about the price of housing, including 51% who are very concerned. Only 16% of those polled believe an average person can afford to buy a home in their area, compared to 74% who believe homes are unaffordable for the average person.

"North Carolinians are very concerned about housing prices," Bryson said. "As more people move into the state and the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, those concerns will likely only get worse – unless builders can quickly create significantly more housing."

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