By John Peters
October 2, 2013
The High Point University Survey Research Center released one of its periodic polls Tuesday with some curious findings.
Just 42 percent of North Carolina residents approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing. Given that the state voted against Obama in the 2012 presidential election, favoring GOP nominee by about 2 percentage points, and that he’s a Democrat in a decidedly right-leaning state, a low rating is no surprise.
Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who won the governor’s seat by about 12 percentage points, fared even worse in the poll, with just 38 percent of respondents saying they approve of his job performance.
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, found just 32 percent of North Carolina residents approve of Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s performance on the job.
We’re not sure why the poll did not include any data on Republican Sen. Richard Burr, but the previous poll, released Sept. 19, gave Burr a 36 percent approval rating.
Ironically, the results were released Tuesday, the same day the federal government shut down in a budget stand-off between the GOP-controlled House, the Democratic-controlled Senate, and President Barrack Obama.
The poll results show a deep divide between the average person and those in political power. The typical adult really doesn’t seem to care much for political parties when evaluating those elected to office — and those poor approval ratings reflect that.
Those in office, unfortunately, are continuing to put party politics and grandstanding above leadership and service. In North Carolina, we see that clearly with the rampant cronyism and secretive governing under the McCrory administration. Federally, we see that with a GOP-controlled House bent on making pointless political waves even if that harms the very people they have been elected to represent.
That should be no surprise, given that the GOP leadership in Washington adopted a well-documented policy of opposition at every turn when Obama was first elected to the White House. Party leaders have even admitted their strategy has been to oppose him at every turn, even if that opposition was harmful to their own constituency. It almost makes one wonder if something besides politics is behind the party’s often mean-spirited railing against the president and the American people.
Not that the president is blameless. There have been times when some Republican leaders have sounded a conciliatory tone, have been willing to meet him half-way on certain issues, and the president has been hesitant to accept even that, as if he is above others elected to serve. And his response to Syria, drawing and then redrawing a so-called red line that now has no meaning, has weakened his office and the world view of America.
And so here we are, the federal government shut down, no one happy with any of the leadership in Raleigh and Washington. Too bad we can’t have a reset button when it comes to politics. Some might argue we do, and it’s called an election, but when those roll around again we’ll see the same tired old arguments, and everyone falling in line with their respective parties, voting for whoever party bosses determine is “most electable” rather than truly voting for who we believe will do the best job.
In that regard, we suppose the American people, and North Carolina residents, are getting what we deserve, what we voted into office.