By John Celock
New polling shows that the North Carolina governor’s race continues to shape up to be the most competitive of 2016.
A Public Policy Poll released Wednesday shows Gov. Pat McCrory (R) leading state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) 44 percent to 42 percent for the governorship. The two have been within points of each other in multiple polls released throughout 2015, exchanging the lead back and forth.
McCrory has been a top target for national Democrats since he first won the governor’s mansion in 2012 and Republicans took control of the state Legislature, a first in North Carolina. Progressives have long targeted the state Capitol in Raleigh with protests over a series of conservative legislation that has passed the state in recent years.
Cooper, the state’s four-term attorney general, has been gearing up for a gubernatorial run for several years, solidifying himself as the Democratic frontrunner. The poll indicated that Cooper holds a commanding 54 percent to 10 percent lead over former state Rep. Ken Spaulding in the Democratic primary.