News: The Woodshed

N.C. unaffiliated voters souring on Biden, split on masks, vaccine

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrate the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion spending package. Photo via The White House Facebook page)
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrate the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion spending package. Photo via The White House Facebook page)

A new poll of North Carolina unaffiliated voters shows President Joe Biden is tanking with voters who claim no allegiance to any political party.

Between August 13-15, 2021 Spry Strategies contacted nearly 500 households of registered, self-described unaffiliated voters. Voters were only included in the poll results if they also confirmed they were registered as unaffiliated. Roughly half the poll was taken before the fall of Afghanistan, half during/after. The poll was released exclusively to Carolina Journal.

North Carolina unaffiliated voters now disapprove of President Joe Biden’s job performance 54.8% to only 43.4 % who approve.

Of those polled, 44.8% strongly disapprove of Biden’s job performance, while only 27.5% strongly approve.

“As we have seen nationally throughout our polling, we are seeing a sharp decline in support for President Biden and Democrat policies in North Carolina, among independent voters,” said pollster Ryan Burrell, President of Spry Strategies. “The data shows a lot of hope for a big mid-term election for Republicans. When we asked unaffiliated voters whether they are leaning more to the left or to the right since January, we find a 2 to 1 advantage for the Conservative ideology and Republican party, and extremely significant change.”

In comparing the Biden approval number among unaffiliated voters against the latest John Locke Foundation Civitas poll, taken at roughly the same time, results on unaffiliated voters are nearly identical.

The Locke/Civitas poll crosstabs of unaffiliated voters showed 52% of unaffiliated voters disapproving of Biden’s job performance and 29% approving. The “strongly disapprove” rate in the Civitas poll, (45.6%) is also almost identical to the Spry poll (44.8%)

Governor Cooper is still in solid shape with independent voters, with 53.8% approving of Gov. Cooper’s job performance and 41.5% disapproving of Cooper’s job performance.  The Civitas poll also shows Cooper above water with unaffiliated voters but by a smaller margin, with 45% of unaffiliated voters approving of Cooper’s job performance with 41% disapproving.

Biden’s low approval by independent voters may help shape the 2022 U.S. Senate election in North Carolina, where 42.8% of unaffiliated voters indicate they are currently planning to vote for the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, as opposed to 31.8% who say they are currently a vote for the Democrats U.S. Senate nominee.  Nearly 19% remained undecided.

Respondents were asked:

“When thinking about your political ideology since January 1, 2021, do you find yourself leaning more to the left, to the right, or no change?”

37% of independent voters say they find themselves leaning more to the right, while 17% say they are leaning more to the left.  Forty-six percent say they feel no change.

Of the 37% of independent voters who say they are leaning more to the right since January, nearly 30% pointed to the immigration crisis, around 20% said government spending, 16.5% said a loss of civil liberties, and 15% simply pointed to woke-ism.

Of the 17% of independent voters who find themselves leaning more to the left, 53% point to Trump’s dominance of the GOP, and nearly 30% say it is because of Covid-19 issues.

“The left is still dominated by hatred of Donald Trump while the right has a number of failures by the Biden Administration and Democrats in Washington driving their ire,” said Burrell.  “My prediction is that this situation is only going to get worse for the Democrats because they have no plans to slow down this radical liberal push toward globalism and government dominance in every facet of our daily lives.”

Of the unaffiliated voters polled, 86% indicated that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or plan to be, and nearly 10% indicate they do not plan of being vaccinated.

On masks, unaffiliated voters are nearly evenly split with 43% saying they do not believe the government has the authority to mandate face mask use while 42% do.

Unaffiliated voters are also split evenly of the question of “Do you believe the government should mandate COVID19 vaccinations for all adults who are eligible to receive the vaccine?”

43.3 % of respondents said “yes” while 44.1% said “no” and 12.6% reported being unsure.

When asked, “When considering the COVID Delta variant, do you think children under the age of 12 should be required to use a face mask in school?”

50% of respondents said “yes” while 35.5% said “no.”

Unaffiliated voters in North Carolina are clearly concerned about the current increases in government spending, with 57.5% saying government spending is “out of control” while 31% say “increased government spending is needed.”

Respondents were asked:

“If the government had a choice between more spending on social services or less tax, which do you think it should do?”

Of the respondents, 53% believe government should tax less, while 23% indicated that government should choose to spend more on social services.

Spry North Carolina Independents Survey Methodology

This Hybrid Method Survey was conducted by Spry Strategies in N.C., with IVR Landline and Online Mobile Interviews August 12 -17 among a random sample of 303 registered independent likely voters. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points. The survey’s sample included 47,505 registered independents who voted in at least 2 of the last 4 general elections in 2014, 2016, 2018 & 2020. The stratified data sample pulled for the survey, coupled with a party affiliation screen, assured a sample of independents only.180 interviews were done prior to the much-publicized pull out from Afghanistan, followed by a takeover by the Taliban. Biden’s approval was already at an all-time low and likely dropped significantly over the weekend as Afghanistan fell and the lackluster response of the Biden Administration.