Forty-one percent of likely general election voters in North Carolina now approve of Gov. Roy Cooper’s job performance, with 45% disapproving, according to the results of the latest Civitas poll.
That marks a recent low for the two-term governor. In June, Cooper’s approval rating was six percentage points higher at 47%. As recently as May 2021, Cooper’s approval rating stood at 53%.
The new poll results drop one week after Cooper suffered a stinging political blow when the General Assembly overrode six of his vetoes in a single day — a new record.
There is more good news for Republicans in the poll. The GOP’s advantage on the generic state legislative ballot continued to remain strong this month, with 47% picking a Republican candidate and 41% a Democratic candidate. That support level has remained stable since January.
The same holds true for the generic congressional ballot — 47% picked a Republican and 42% a Democrat, also a stable number since January.
The NC electorate appears to be generally unsatisfied with the current options for president. Asked “Who would you like to see take the oath of office for president in 2024?” 18% picked President Joe Biden, 29% former president Donald Trump, 18% another unidentified Republican, and 20% another unidentified Democrat.
Likely voters are divided on the question of whether Trump did something illegal or morally wrong connected to the 2020 election. Forty-seven percent said they believe Trump’s actions were illegal, while 12% said Trump did something wrong but not illegal. Meanwhile, 34% said Trump didn’t do anything seriously wrong.
On a related note, 54% say that the U.S. Justice Department’s treatment of Trump is politically motivated, while 36% say the prosecutions are nonpartisan.
President Joe Biden’s disapproval rating is at 58%, compared to 35% who approve.
“I would be concerned about running Biden for president again if I were the Democratic Party,” said Donald Bryson, CEO of the John Locke Foundation. “It is certainly abnormal to see support for an incumbent president so low, and a 58% job disapproval.”
Of the current declared candidates for governor in NC, Republican Mark Robinson, the state’s current lieutenant governor, has the highest net favorability advantage at 27% favorable to 17% unfavorable. Democrat Josh Stein, the current attorney general, has a 20% to 12% favorable-to-unfavorable ratio.
Republican Mark Walker scored a 11% favorable to 8% unfavorable, while Republican Dale Folwell stood at 5% favorable to 5% unfavorable. Walker is a former member of congress and Folwell is the current state treasurer.
“Even though candidates such as Mark Walker and Dale Folwell have run for — and won — statewide offices, many North Carolinians claim to have not heard of them,” said Bryson. “With primaries in March, these candidates will have to prioritize mass media as much as possible if they want a shot at the governor’s mansion. Grassroots wins elections, but people need to hear about you first.”
On state-specific policy issues, three-fourths of voters want to vote in a referendum on legalizing casinos, while 55% would support the legalization of casinos and gambling. Asked about the social implications and consequences of casinos, 46% said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried, compared to 47% who said they were “not very” or “not at all” worried.
The poll was conducted August 20-21 and surveyed 600 likely general election voters.
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