A new Elon University poll suggests that a growing number of people think the state is headed in the right direction – except when it comes to abortion and the minimum wage.
On those last two issues, North Carolinians appear to differ from politicians in Raleigh and Washington.
Fifty-one percent of respondents still think the state is on the wrong track when it comes to public policy issues. But that is eight points lower than what a survey in September found. Similarly, 37 percent now say the state is specifically heading in the right direction, which is an eight-point improvement.
Perhaps surprisingly, it’s Democrats who are in a better mood. Only 17 percent of them were optimistic in September, and now 31 percent say the state is headed in the right direction. Republicans have been steady on the question.
But here’s where state residents diverge:
• Abortion: More think state laws should make access to abortion less difficult. Forty-four percent thought that, as opposed to 40 percent who said access should be made more difficult. Women are the main factor driving that change.
North Carolina has a new law that requires tougher regulation of abortion clinics and other restrictions. Just how that will affect the clinics isn’t yet known.
• Minimum wage: Forty-five percent said they think the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour should jump to $10 or higher. An additional 14 percent think it should hit at least $9 an hour. U.S. Senate Republicans recently blocked a measure to increase the wage to $10.
The poll was conducted by live-call telephone and cell phone of 672 registered voters between April 25 and 28, and has a margin of error of 3.78 percent.