Dem Leads In North Carolina Governor Race

By John Celock

A new poll shows the Democrat leading in what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive gubernatorial races in the country.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) leads Gov. Pat McCrory (R) 43 percent to 40 percent in a Public Policy Poll released Thursday. The poll is the latest in a series of polls that shows a small lead flipping back and forth between Cooper and McCrory over the last year.

The North Carolina gubernatorial race has promised to be the most competitive of 2016 with Democrats seeking to reclaim the governorship amid what has been a conservative dominance of North Carolina government for the last four years. McCrory’s 2012 election ushered in Republican control of North Carolina’s Legislature and executive branch and a rush of conservative legislation.

Democrats and progressive groups have descended on Raleigh since McCrory’s election in 2013 to protest and try to rally support for Democrats. Cooper, the four-term state attorney general, has long been considered the frontrunner to take on McCrory in 2016.

The poll indicated that McCrory has a 35 percent approval rating in the state, while 48 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the governor’s record. The poll also showed that while Cooper has spent 15 years as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, 46 percent of those surveyed do not have enough information about him to form an opinion.