A poll released by TWC News today is one of the first of its kind following the passage of HB 2 that measures support for the bill and the impact it’s having on voters in North Carolina. Unfortunately, the poll question regarding the actual bill itself might as well have been written by Buck Newton and Dan Bishop.
The poll finds that 51 percent of North Carolinians (sample size: 540 voters) support the new law with 40 percent opposed, but here’s how they asked those voters the question:

A new state law in North Carolina bans local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules, and overturns the Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. Was overturning the Charlotte ordinance a good idea or bad idea?

This would be a good question if the only thing the legislature did was overturn the Charlotte ordinance, or specifically wrote into state law that local ordinances allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identity were null and void. It still would’ve been an awful law that was openly hostile to the civil rights of transgender people, but the question TWC asked would’ve at least been accurate.

In reality, we know that the bill guts workplace protections at the state level, stripping workers of the ability to sue their employers for discrimination. We know that the scare tactics behind HB 2, that sexual predators will claim a different gender identity in order to harass and assault women, is completely unfounded bullshit. And finally, we know that the Charlotte ordinance wasn’t simply just a “bathroom ordinance”; it simply extended existing nondiscrimination protections to LGBT folks—an idea, by the way, that 53 percent of respondents to the TWC poll supported, as opposed to just 34 percent who opposed it.

Unfortunately, not many people know these things about the HB 2 bill, because the dominant narrative coming out of the Republican camp is that HB 2 simply undid the Charlotte ordinance, something that Representative Dan Bishop called “a restoration of common sense.” A narrative that, disappointingly, TWC News pushed in this poll.

The poll also finds that a slim majority of people agree with AG Roy Cooper’s decision not to defend the law, 54 percent think the legislature isn’t doing a good job as opposed to just 34 percent who think they are, and 46 percent think the law will have a negative impact on North Carolina’s image as opposed to just 23 percent who think it’ll have a positive impact. You can view the full results here.

Meanwhile, PayPal just announced they’re withdrawing a plan to expand in Charlotte, a move that would have created over four hundred new jobs in a city that’s now being punished financially for daring to be less bigoted than the state legislature. This law is the gift that keeps on giving.