By John Celock
Over a year of contentious legislative battles in Raleigh has left North Carolina’s GOP governor underwater in a new poll and potentially facing a tough battle for reelection in 2016.
A poll released Thursday by Public Policy Polling shows Gov. Pat McCrory (R) with a 45 percent job disapproval rating from Tar Heel state voters. The poll showed that 40 percent of voters approved of his job performance while 14 percent were unsure. McCrory, Charlotte’s longest serving mayor, was elected governor in 2012 with 55 percent of the vote against then Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (D).
The PPP poll showed that McCrory is tied with state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) at 43 percent in a hypothetical 2016 matchup. At the same time, the poll shows that half of North Carolinians have no opinion of the two-term attorney general. Cooper had a 33 percent approval rating, while 17 percent disapproved and 50 percent were unsure.
McCrory faired better in a hypothetical 2016 matchup against former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker (D). PPP had McCrory leading Meeker 45 percent to 38 percent. The poll showed that Meeker, a former five-term mayor, had a 15 percent statewide approval rating with a 13 percent disapproval rating and 72 percent unsure of his performance.
The poll comes as McCrory and the GOP-controlled Legislature have been at the center of progressive anger for over a year. McCrory is presiding over the first total GOP government in North Carolina and has faced backlash from Democrats over a series of laws including voter identification and abortion restrictions.
The poll noted that there has been movement towards greater support for gay marriage in North Carolina. Results showed that 40 percent of those polled said it should be legal, while 53 percent continued to oppose gay marriage being legal. The results come two years after voters approved a gay marriage ban by 22 points.
Outside of politics, PPP noted that the poll showed a plurality of North Carolinians polled as favoring a Major League baseball team in the state. Forty seven percent said they would favor bringing such a team to North Carolina, with 24 percent opposed and 28 percent unsure.