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New university polls show NC opinions on Trump, Cooper, gun laws

New polls from both Elon University and High Point University are out this week.

The live-call polls, featuring the opinions of North Carolinians, shed light on state opinions on the jobs being done by President Donald Trump and Gov. Roy Cooper, as well as shifting views on gun laws in the wake of the most recent mass shootings.

The latest Elon poll is the result of a  live-caller, dual-frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 771 registered voters in North Carolina conducted Nov. 6-9. Survey results have a margin of error +/-3.5 percent.

The poll shows Gov. Roy Cooper’s approval basically holding steady at 49 percent – up one point from April’s poll.

That’s significantly better than the approval ratings of Trump or Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

From the poll:

Trump’s approval rating in the state has slightly improved during the past month, with 37 percent now approving of how he is handling the job of president, compared to 34 percent in the Elon Poll results released Oct. 3. Close to 50 percent of N.C. voters approve of how Gov. Roy Cooper is handling his job, while less than a third approve of how U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis are handling theirs.

Both Burr and Tillis have even lower approval ratings among those in their home state – though some of that seems to be tied to how they’ve dealt with Trump.

Senators Burr and Tillis are both disapproved more than approved by North Carolina voters. Senator Burr
has slight higher approval levels than Senator Tillis (31% vs. 28%). Perhaps due to Senator Burr’s
leadership on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 27% of those who approve of President
Trump disapprove of Senator Burr. Tillis is disapproved of by 21% of Trump supporters.
We asked voters if Senators Burr and Tillis should be more supportive or less supportive of President
Trump. A plurality, 45.6% said less supportive while 38.5% said more supportive.

The HPU poll took a look at opinions on existing and proposed gun laws, finding a slight uptick in already strong support for banning high capacity ammunition clips, assault-style weapons and online ammunition sale. A proposed ban on so-called “bump stocks” that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more quickly was also had overwhelming support in the poll.

The HPU Poll asked North Carolinians about a list of possible approaches to reducing gun violence. Ninety-two percent say they favor requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, including those buying at gun shows and through private sales. In a March 2016 HPU Poll, 89 percent of North Carolina residents favored the same proposal.

In the most recent HPU Poll, 91 percent of those surveyed say they favor providing services for mentally ill people who show violent tendencies. Eighty-eight percent of North Carolinians supported that same proposal in 2016.

Similar proportions of North Carolinians in 2017 (88 percent) and 2016 (84 percent) said they support improving enforcement of existing gun laws.

In both the 2017 and 2016 polls, majorities also favored banning high capacity ammunition clips, assault style weapons and the sale of ammunition online. Respondents were split on whether reducing access to violent movies and video games would help reduce gun violence.

The 2017 poll included a proposed ban on “bump stocks” that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more like they are fully automatic. Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of North Carolinians favor that proposal.

And when asked whether they would support a federal licensing requirement for people to legally own guns, 83 percent of North Carolina residents say they are in favor.

The latest HPU poll is the result of  live-call interviews conducted at the High Point University Survey Research Center from Oct. 27 – Nov. 4. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 352 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 5.2 percentage points for all adult respondents.

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