Poll: Slim majority in NC support closing ABC stores, private liquor sales

A new poll from Elon University suggests a slim majority of North Carolinians would support ending the system of government operated ABC liquor stores and instead allow private sales.

The poll, conducted in conjunction with the N.C. General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division, found 52 percent of respondents would support such a proposal. Fifty-seven percent said any store that can currently sell beer or wine should be able to receive a permit to sell liquor as well.

The poll results, released Tuesday, follow a report from the Program Evaluation Division that examined the potential outcomes of ending total government control of wholesale and retail sales.

North Carolina is one of only three states that exercises that level of control over liquor sales. The other two are Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, the same slim majority of respondents said they would support ABC stores remaining closed on Sundays.

Respondents who said they don’t shop at ABC stores were far more likely to support the stores remaining closed on Sundays. Only 16 percent of non-shoppers said they believe ABC stores should be open on Sunday, compared to 44 percent of shoppers.

“That support for Sunday sales varied substantially by party and use of ABC stores suggests to me that some local autonomy for Sunday liquor sales might be popular among North Carolinians,” said Jason Husser, director of the Elon Poll and associate professor of political science.

The poll was a live-caller, dual-frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 379 registered voters in North Carolina. It was conducted from Oct. 1 to Oct 4. The margin of error was +/- 5 percent.

Read the full results – with methodology – here.



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