At long last, North Carolinians of all political stripes have found something they can agree on: Our leaders stink.
It doesn’t matter which party or which level of government. A recent survey conducted by High Point University found bipartisan disdain for just about everyone.
Here are some of the approval ratings highlights – or perhaps lowlights would be a better term:
- Democratic President Barack Obama – 40 percent.
- Republican Gov. Pat McCrory – 37 percent.
- Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan – 33 percent
- Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr – 29 percent.
- N.C. General Assembly – 32 percent.
- U.S. Congress – 12 percent.
For all of the heavy rhetoric politicians have thrown at improving education in recent years, it would be nice if even one of the leaders had a passing grade of his or her own.
Some of the lower approval ratings are easy to understand. Obama’s rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been fraught with disaster. McCrory’s administration has fumbled the ball all over the place on food stamps benefits and Medicaid payments.
Until only recently – that is, the start of this election year – Congress has been unable to agree on much of anything. The N.C. General Assembly, meanwhile, has shoved all kinds of unpopular legislation down the throats of North Carolinians.
Change starts at the ballot box, of course. But Americans historically seem to follow a motto of: “Washington/Raleigh might stink, but my guy is OK.” And so, we continue to re-elect incumbent leaders by a wide margin. Legislators, meanwhile, do their best to ensure re-election by stacking districts in favor of the party in charge.
Somehow or another, the unemployment rate is finally starting to drop. Deficits have been reduced. And the stock market continues to be healthy.
What does all of that mean to North Carolina voters?
We’ll see in November.