Rachel recently noted on the show that North Carolina right now “is like conservatives gone wild.” There’s overwhelming evidence to back that up, and it increasingly looks like North Carolinians are unimpressed.
Public Policy Polling, which is based in North Carolina, released new survey results this morning showing the state’s residents increasingly unimpressed as Republican state policymakers continue to push the state to the right. Gov. Pat McCrory (R), just a half-year into his first term, has seen his approval rating drop and is now underwater (his disapproval numbers are higher than his approval numbers).
Helping drive the public disappointment is the GOP agenda targeting reproductive rights in the state – the motorcycle-turned-abortion bill is still working its way through the legislative process – and the proposal, which McCrory has vowed to sign despite promising the opposite last year, enjoys the support of just 34% of North Carolinians. A whopping 80% of the state believe it’s inappropriate for lawmakers to combine abortion legislation with bills about motorcycle safety or Sharia Law.
What’s more, the poll found that a plurality of the state believes the General Assembly is causing North Carolina “national embarrassment”; the public is more sympathetic towards the Moral Monday protestors than the lawmakers inside the legislature, and just six months after the first Republican takeover of state government since Reconstruction, most voters in the state now intend to vote Democratic in the next election cycle.
Remember, this is partly the result of Republicans pushing an unnecessary culture-war agenda on issues such as reproductive rights, but that’s not all it’s about.
The New York Times editorial board noted last week:
Every Monday since April, thousands of North Carolina residents have gathered at the State Capitol to protest the grotesque damage that a new Republican majority has been doing to a tradition of caring for the least fortunate. Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the “Moral Monday” demonstrations, as they are known. But the bad news keeps on coming from the Legislature, and pretty soon a single day of the week may not be enough to contain the outrage.
Republicans, having all of the reins of power for the first time in generations, could have been modest and responsible, making incremental changes with an eye on the political mainstream, but instead they did the exact opposite. They gutted unemployment benefits despite a weak economy; they pushed for new voting restrictions that punish Americans they think might vote Democratic; they cut funding for struggling public schools; they blocked Medicaid expansion despite the toll it will take on the state hospitals and poor families, they repealed the Racial Justice Act; and they went about closing nearly every women’s health clinic in the state.
And really, that’s just a partial list, highlighting the more egregious examples of GOP overreach.
If polls showed Republican support soaring in the face of this extremism, state GOP policymakers could at least take comfort in knowing the public is behind them. But Public Policy Polling shows the opposite.
It’s so bad that the editorial board of the Greensboro News & Record felt compelled to ask over the weekend, “Egads! Are we becoming South Carolina?”