Elon Poll: N.C. residents divided on Occupy Wall Street movement


    ELON UNIVERSITY, (NEWS RELEASE) — North Carolinians are evenly divided on their views of the Occupy Wall Street movement, according to the latest Elon University Poll, as protesters around the country continue making news with demonstrations against large banks and a political system that many of the activists say is broken.

    Of those familiar with Occupy Wall Street, 45 percent hold an unfavorable opinion of the movement, and the same number reported a favorable opinion. Thirty-two percent of respondents consider themselves supporters of the movement and 26 percent consider themselves opponents.

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    The poll, conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2011, surveyed 529 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.26 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general, with numbers that include both landlines and cellular phones. The Elon University Poll does not restrict respondents by voter eligibility or likelihood of voting.

    When asked whether the movement is aligned with a political party:

    53 percent believe that Occupy Wall Street is aligned more with the Democratic Party
    5 percent believe it is aligned with the Republican Party
    34 percent said the movement is not aligned with a party

    Meanwhile, four out of five North Carolinians are familiar with the Tea Party movement, and of those who are familiar, 42 percent say that they have a favorable opinion of the movement with 46 percent expressing an unfavorable opinion.

    Three out of 10 respondents identified themselves as opponents of the Tea Party, but nearly as many considered themselves supporters.

    “While the Tea Party has certainly emerged as a political player on the national scene, at this point it remains uncertain whether it will have a significant impact here in North Carolina this coming election year,” said Betty Morgan, director of the university’s Center of Public Affairs.

    North Carolinians were also asked to identify who they thought was the “head of the Tea Party.” Almost half indicated that they “don’t know” who is the head of the Tea Party.

    Other responses included:

    Sarah Palin: 14 percent
    Michele Bachmann: 5 percent
    Republicans in Congress: 3 percent
    Other Person: 11 percent
    There is no Tea Party head: 18 percent