North Carolina Governor’s Race Still Tied

By John Celock

With a new poll showing that North Carolina residents are voicing opposition to the state’s new transgender law, the same poll shows the governor’s race tied.

A PPP Poll released Tuesday showed Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, tied at 41 percent each with Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil polling at five percent. The same poll shows that 44 percent of North Carolinians opposed legislation passed earlier this year that requires transgendered individuals to use the bathroom of their birth gender. The poll showed that 35 percent of those surveyed supported the law, which was signed by McCrory after being passed by the GOP-controlled state Legislature.

The race between McCrory and Cooper has been the most competitive gubernatorial race in the country this year even before the national debate commenced over the bathroom bill, which also prohibits local governments from adopting ordinances relating to LGBT non-discrimination.

Polls have had the two either tied or within the margin of error since Cooper officially entered the race last year.

McCrory has faced long time opposition since taking office in 2013 when he and the GOP-controlled Legislature ushered in the first ever Republican dominance of state government. A rash of conservative legislation in the state in 2013 led to a series of protests in Raleigh and growing support among the left for Cooper’s candidacy for governor.

Cooper, a four-term attorney general, has been one of North Carolina’s most popular politicians, routinely easily defeating opponents for the attorney general’s office. He entered the race backed by national Democrats, seeking to reclaim the governorship.

McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor, was first elected in 2012, easily defeating then Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (D) to succeed former Gov. Bev Perdue (D), who did not seek a second term. McCrory narrowly lost the 2008 governor’s race to Perdue.