by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Syndicated columnist John Hood looks at interesting results from the Elon University poll about who knows what about whom when it comes to elected representatives — including North Carolina sheriffs.
Asked to name the offices held by various leaders, most of the 625 voters interviewed correctly identified Mike Pence as vice president (89 percent), Roy Cooper as governor of North Carolina (82 percent), and Richard Burr (62 percent) and Thom Tillis (56 percent) as U.S. senators.
On the other hand, only 11 percent knew Phil Berger was the president pro tem of the North Carolina Senate, and just 8 percent knew Tim Moore was speaker of the North Carolina House. Berger and Moore wield significant power in Raleigh, obviously, but aren’t much known elsewhere — except perhaps in their own communities. Even back home however, only 22 percent of respondents correctly identified their state representatives, while 17 percent recognized their state senators.
By comparison, nearly half (46 percent) correctly identified their county sheriffs. Why are sheriffs more recognizable than state legislators? I think there are at least two reasons.