Last week, on the heels of a fundraising surge following our launch, Carolina Forward sponsored our first major statewide poll. We hired Public Policy Polling, a nationally respected polling company based in Durham, to run a large poll to find out just what North Carolinians think of some of the most pressing issues in our state.
We launched our findings on Monday, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
School Reopening - Explained
For those of you who haven’t followed the issue closely, the Republican legislature wants North Carolina teachers to return to in-person classroom instruction immediately. An overwhelming majority of teachers in NC haven’t had an opportunity for a COVID vaccine yet, so many of them are reluctant to do so. Last week, the Republican legislature passed a bill forcing all teachers in the state back into classrooms - no matter what. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill.
In other words, we couldn’t have timed this poll any better.
What we found was that, by a sizable margin, North Carolinians support their teachers:
By a 56% to 34% margin, North Carolinians told us that they thought teachers should have the opportunity to be vaccinated before going back into classrooms. We agree.
We released the results of this poll early on Monday, March 1st. That evening, Republicans in the legislature attempted to override the Governor’s veto. They failed by only one vote.
One reason polling research like this matters is because it gives policymakers - who are, after all, politicians first - insight into what voters think, what’s top of mind, and how the media we consume fits - or doesn’t - prevailing beliefs.
The only other major organization running polling on this topic and others facing North Carolina, the Art Pope-John Locke Foundation, is a radical right-wing lobby group. If theirs is the only survey data that policymakers ever hear or see, that will inevitably have an influence on policy. That’s what they’re counting on.
But polling isn’t cheap. (Believe us!) Nor do we have billionaire backing. But we do have a large network of you, Dear Readers. Can you help keep our work going?
But wait! There’s more.
This was just Part 1 of this poll. We rushed to get these results out ASAP because it would have maximum impact on Monday. But there’s even more to our latest poll that we’re excited to share. Some pretty eye-popping stuff - believe us.
We’ll be releasing Part 2 next week. We’re looking forward to sharing.
In the meantime, check out this blog post analyzing full results from Part 1 (including the question on charter school funding). It includes the full report from Part 1 with crosstabs. Share with friends!
Thanks for being a part of this with us.