PPP's monthly North Carolina poll finds Pat McCrory leading Bev Perdue 52-41 in a hypothetical rematch of their closely contested 2008 Gubernatorial race.
During the fall Perdue's reelection prospects were showing some improvement. She pulled within 4-5 points of McCrory on our September and October polls after trailing by wider margins for most of the year. But over the last 3 months she's regressed again, facing deficits of 9, 10, and now 11 points.
Perdue's approval has dipped back down to 32%, with 51% of voters disapproving of her. That's the lowest her approval rating's been since last March. She has two major problems: independents disapprove of her by a greater than 2:1 margin (23/59) and her party base isn't terribly enthusiastic about her either. Only 50% of Democrats give her good marks while 31% disapprove.
We also tested a 3 way contest involving 2008 Libertarian candidate Michael Munger. He gets 6% but his presence in the race doesn't change McCrory's 11 point margin over Perdue- it just shifts down to 48-37.
Certainly Perdue and Faison's unpopularity have a lot to do with why McCrory's polling so well. But a lot of the credit should go to McCrory himself- 40% of voters in the state have a positive opinion of him to only 24% with a negative one. He's at 37/19 with independents in addition to that healthy amount of crossover popularity he enjoys with Democrats. McCrory is an unusually strong candidate and he would be difficult to beat under any circumstances.
If there's a ray of hope for Perdue it continues to be that the Legislature is even more unpopular than she is. 42% of voters have more faith in her to run the state compared to only 38% for the Republicans in the General Assembly. McCrory has tied himself closely to the legislative majority and if Perdue can convince voters his election would bring more of the antics that voters have come to loathe from them, she has a shot. For now though McCrory's in a good position.
Full results here