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The Daily Tar Heel
View from the Hill

North Carolina's Image Declines: Why does it Matter?

On Thursday, Public Policy Polling released a new study showing North Carolina’s national image in steep decline.

The Democratic-leaning polling firm showed that while in 2011, 40 percent of Americans viewed North Carolina favorably, only 30 percent view it favorably in 2013.

The state saw the biggest drops in minorities. The study showed 30 percent of African Americans have an unfavorable view of North Carolina, down from a 42 percent approval rating in 2011. Meanwhile, only 20 percent of Hispanics view the state favorably.

The statistics come during a time when those demographics are becoming more prominent in the state. According to U.S. Census data, 66.2 percent of eligible voters who identify solely as African American voted in the 2012 elections nationwide. In North Carolina, that number was 80.2 percent.

Similarly, the same U.S. Census data showed 48 percent of those who identified as Hispanics voted nationwide in the last election but 56 percent of Hispanics in North Carolina voted. According to a Pew study released last year, registered Hispanic voters in the state has increased tenfold.

If these growing demographics continue to show dissatisfaction with North Carolina, it could lead to electoral problems for elected officials in North Carolina, particularly for Republicans who control the governorship and hold a veto-proof majority in the N.C. General Assembly. But while they may have a hold on state government now, they may have to start tailoring policies that are friendly to these constituencies.

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