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Media advisory on this week’s Civitas poll

NC Policy Watch released the following media advisory this afternoon:

MEDIA ADVISORY: New statewide poll shows that North Carolinians favor tax hikes over education cuts.

An overwhelming majority of state’s voters favor candidates who would protect education funding.

RALEIGH (November 13, 2009) – North Carolina voters strongly favor state legislative candidates who would raise taxes rather than cut education funding according to results of a new poll released this week by the conservative J.W. Pope Civitas Institute. 

In the poll of 600 likely voters, respondents were asked which – assuming all other things were equal – of two hypothetical candidates for the state legislature they would be more likely to vote for: a candidate who voted to raise taxes to protect education funding, or a candidate who voted to cut education funding to avoid raising taxes. Nearly three-out-of-five (59%) selected the candidate who would raise taxes, while just over a quarter (28%) selected the candidate who would cut education. Thirteen percent said they were not sure.

“The results are in keeping with numerous other surveys around the country in recent years that have shown strong support for public schools,” said Chris Fitzsimon, Director of N.C. Policy Watch, a progressive think tank that often jousts with the

Civitas Institute. “In general, voters retain a great deal of faith in public education. Even fiscally conservative voters are willing to pay more to make schools work,” Fitzsimon continued.

Rob Schofield, Director of Research and Policy Development at N.C. Policy Watch said that the results provide further evidence of the mythmaking that many conservative advocates and politicians have engaged in around the debate over taxes. “For years, the conservative right has attempted to manufacture the impression that Americans blindly oppose all new taxes, but time and again this is shown to be untrue,” Schofield said. “The Civitas poll confirms our previous findings that voters value well-funded, high quality public structures and services. Let’s hope our leaders are paying attention,” he concluded.

Full results of the poll are available on the Civitas Institute’s Web site at www.nccivitas.org.

Full text of question

All things being equal, between the following two candidates for the state legislature, for whom are you more likely to vote?

  1. A candidate who voted to raise taxes to protect education funding, or,
  2. A candidate who voted to cut education funding to avoid raising taxes

Raise Taxes – 59%
Cut education Funding – 28%
Not Sure – 13%.

According to the Pope Civitas Institute, the poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted Oct. 20-21, 2009 by McLaughlin and Associates of Alexandria, Virginia. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers.

Interview selection was random within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter distributions in a statewide general election.

The poll of 600 likely general election voters has an accuracy of +/- 4.0% at a 95% confidence interval.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Chris Fitzsimon at 919-861-2066, 919-986-1807 (mobile), chris@ncpolicywatch.com or Rob Schofield of N.C. Policy Watch at 919-861-2065, 919-986-1827 (mobile), rob@ncpolicywatch.com .

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