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Pat McCrory 2Governor McCrory’s poll numbers remain relatively strong – especially in comparison to the General Assembly’s – and thus far it’s easy to see why. The Guv is an affable guy who smiles a lot and mostly avoids picking public fights. He signs popular bills in front of TV cameras and unpopular ones behind closed doors. When he is confronted with a tough public question you can wager that his response will be: a) a poll-tested sound bite, b) a promise to study and “fix” the problem, or c) both.

The common assumption thus far is that McCrory’s outward superficiality is simply a strategic move: Why get all caught up in the weeds of any number of controversial issues when you can respond with a platitude or blame your predecessor’s supposed failures? And that may be the ultimate explanation. Today, however, there were at least a couple of troubling signs that the superficiality you see may really be all there is.

Number One was Read More

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Public News Service reports this morning on new polling that shows growing sentiments among North Carolinians to do away with the death penalty:

“North Carolina support ending the death penalty in the state, according to a poll released this week. Of the 600 people polled, 68 percent said they would rather the state replace capital punishment with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

According to Dustin Ingalls, assistant director of Public Policy Polling, the organization that conducted the poll, public opinion appears to be shifting.

“More and more, support for death penalty is decreasing, and that sort of falls in line with opposition on other social issues,” he said.

Support for abolishing the death penalty crosses party lines, according to the poll, with even a majority of conservative respondents in favor of ending capital punishment.”

Read the rest of the story and the poll results by clicking here.

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Bobby JindalA politically insightful friend shared a rather fascinating take of the polling data surrounding Louisiana’s once-popular governor, Bobby Jindal. North Carolina’s governor might want to take notice:

“A word to the wise.  Before ending Medicaid expansion and the state’s income tax, Governor McCrory might want to check in with his buddy, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Once the most popular governor in the nation, according to Public Policy Polling, Jindal’s approval ratings have fallen dramatically—from a 58% approval rating in 2010 to 37% approval this month, including a 25% drop in support from Independents.  Read More

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Tom Jensen 2It seems like it might be time for North Carolina’s mainstream news media types to stop referring to Raleigh’s Public Policy Polling as a “liberal” polling firm and start referring to group’s amazingly talented main guy Tom Jensen by another name — like maybe “sir.”

According to this Business Insider article, Tom is now officially one of the 36 most powerful people of 2012 in the world of American politics.

By the way, that photo of Tom in the story comes from an interview he did with Chris Fitzsimon and Clayton Henkel for NC Policy Watch’s News and Views radio show.

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As anyone who watched Public Policy Polling guru Tom Jensen (pictured at left) on News 14 Carolina last night with Chris Fitzsimon and John Hood can attest, North Carolina is fortunate to have such a remarkably talented and informed person in our state.

Today, a national study from Fordham University confirmed what those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to work with Tom (like NC Policy Watch) already knew: he’s among the best in the country (if not the best) at what he does.

According to the study, Public Policy Polling is the most accurate national polster out of 28 ranked. Meanwhile, the famous Gallup poll came in 24th.