Meredith Poll: North Carolinians support COVID precautions, Medicaid expansion, hiking minimum wage

By: - March 22, 2021 2:30 pm

A new Meredith College poll finds even as vaccination rates increase, most North Carolinians are not ready to abandon all COVID-pandemic restrictions.

While some states have dropped mask mandates in recent weeks, the new poll found over twice as many respondents favor keeping the mask mandate in place in our state (64.2%) versus those who say we should eliminate it (29.9%).

As for eliminating restrictions on businesses, a majority of North Carolinians (55.8%) favored retaining restrictions like limited indoor seating, while over one-third (37.1%) favor dropping the restrictions.

There was a large partisan divide here with nearly 60% of Republicans wanting to eliminate all pandemic-related restrictions on businesses, while a majority of Democrats (71.4%) wanted the restrictions to stay in place a bit longer.

A year in to the pandemic, healthcare remains a top concern for residents in this poll.

Two-thirds of North Carolinians surveyed want North Carolina lawmakers to pass a law expanding Medicaid coverage to more residents. Less than 20 percent think that is unnecessary.

88.6% of Democrats favor Medicaid expansion in our stateĀ  with 46.2% of Republicans in this poll also favoring expanded coverage. (A little more than a third (34.4%) of Republicans remain opposed to any expansion.)

Currently 38 states have expanded Medicaid coverage to allow more of their citizens to have healthcare coverage. North Carolina remains one of only a dozen states that has not done so.

And despite the partisan divide on many issues, North Carolinians were of a common mind when it came to raising the minimum wage.

Nearly 80% of North Carolinians surveyed in the Meredith Poll believe it’s time to raising the minimum wage above $7.25/hour.

Where we see that support splinter is when you ask how much to raise it.

Republicans and older voters were more modest in what they would support. Democrats and younger voters from urban counties were most likely to support the higher end of the wage scale.

For more findings from the poll including attitudes about political violence and a look ahead to the 2022 U.S. Senate race, click here to view the entire Spring poll.

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Clayton Henkel
Clayton Henkel

Communications Coordinator Clayton Henkel manages the NC Newsline website and daily newsletter, while also producing daily audio commentaries and the weekly News and Views radio program/podcast.