HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A new High Point University poll was released on Thursday and shows more North Carolinians saying school safety (74%) and inflation (73%) are the top issues for policymakers to deal with.

More than two-thirds of North Carolina residents also said that education (68%), national security (68%) and health care (67%) are high priorities.

Majorities of these same respondents also said supporting veterans (65%), gas prices (63%), taxes (62%), civil rights (61%), protecting democracy (61%), law enforcement (59%), voting integrity (59%), guns (56%) and immigration (52%) are very important issues for Washington to deal with.

Less than 50% of the North Carolina respondents to the poll said climate change (47%), abortion (46%), COVID-19 (38%) and the war in Ukraine (29%) are important issues.

The poll also asked North Carolinians which political party would do a better job dealing with each of the issues, and there was at least a 10% difference between how much better North Carolinians say Republicans deal with the issues of national security (14%), law enforcement (13%), gas prices (11%), supporting veterans (10%) and inflation (10%) compared to Democrats.

Democrats have an advantage of 10% or more on the issues of climate change (13%) and civil rights (10%). 

Democrats have smaller advantages on issues like abortion (8% difference between parties), health care in general (7%) and COVID-19 (6%).

Republicans probably have smaller advantages on issues like immigration (8% difference between parties) and taxes (6%).

There is not much difference between how well North Carolinians overall think Republicans and Democrats deal with issues like school safety, education, voting integrity, guns, protecting democracy and the war in Ukraine.

North Carolinians polled gave President Joe Biden a job approval rating of 33%. More than half (54%) of North Carolina residents say they disapprove of the job President Biden is doing. 

When asked about how well they believe the U.S. Congress is doing, 19% of North Carolinians said they approved of the job Congress is doing, and a majority (64%) said they disapproved.

About another quarter (17%) did not offer an opinion. 

Around three-quarters (70%) of North Carolinians said the country is on the wrong track, and 18% said the country is headed in the right direction.

Only 11% did not offer an opinion either way. 

The poll also asked North Carolinians how they felt about a list of people or things that are in the news.

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More than one-third of respondents had a favorable view of Ukraine (46%), Donald Trump (41%), the North Carolina Supreme Court (36%), the North Carolina General Assembly (36%), Taiwan (36%), Joe Biden (35%) and the U.S. Supreme Court (34%).  

More than half of North Carolinians have an unfavorable view of the U.S. Congress (59%), China (70%) and Russia (77%). 

“As we have seen in recent months, inflation continues to be on the minds of people here in North Carolina,” said Dr. Martin Kifer, chair of HPU’s Department of Political Science and director of the HPU Poll. “It is potentially a voting issue, so we will be looking carefully at these same indicators as the 2024 primary and general election campaigns proceed.”