North Carolinians are very angry about the abortion bill that's been working its way through the General Assembly...and now their anger toward state government is really being directed toward Governor Pat McCrory.
For the first time since taking office we find that McCrory has a negative approval rating this month. Only 40% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove. That's down a net 15 points from June when he was at a 45/39 spread. While McCrory's numbers are pretty steady with Republicans, he continues to lose ground with Democrats (down a net 17 points from -36 at 24/60 last month to now -53 at 17/70) and independents (down a net 20 points from +12 at 46/34 last month to -8 at 41/49 now). Only 68% of people who voted for McCrory last fall continue to approve of his job performance.
July of the first year in office seems to be a tough time for North Carolina Governors- McCrory's predecessor Bev Perdue posted the worst numbers of her entire administration at this time four years ago with 25% of voters approving and 55% disapproving of her.
Unhappiness over the abortion bill seems to be driving a lot of the increased unhappiness with the Republicans in state government this month. Only 34% of voters support the proposal to 47% who are opposed. They're even more unhappy with the process- 80% think it's inappropriate to combine abortion legislation with bills about motorcycle safety or Sharia Law.
This speaks to a greater issue voters have with the General Assembly's transparency- only 19% think the body is transparent in how it conducts its business to 51% who believe it is not. As a result North Carolinians think by a 48/33 margin that McCrory should veto the abortion law, including a 51/37 margin with independents.
That's not the only recent action by the Republicans in state government that voters are unhappy about though:
-76% of voters think that companies engaged in fracking in North Carolina should have to disclose all the chemicals they inject into the ground with only 13% opposed. Republicans in the State Senate have been trying to exempt them from having to do so. There's a strong bipartisan consensus (81/13 among independents, 80/9 among Democrats, 68/18 among Republicans) that disclosure should be required.
-Voters think the ongoing Republican focus on Sharia Law is misplaced energy- just 17% think it's a pressing issue state government should address to 46% who think it is not with 37% not having an opinion either way, quite possibly an indication that they don't even know what it is. Even among Republicans only 23% think combating Sharia Law is an important priority.
All of this could come back to bite Republicans in next year's election. The GOP has an overall 35% approval rating for how it's running state government with 55% of voters disapproving. Democrats now lead the generic legislative ballot 51/42, the largest lead we've ever found for them since we started tracking this statistic.
Voters are so unhappy with the legislature that the protesters are coming out more popular. 47% have a favorable opinion of the folks who have been getting arrested protesting the General Assembly's actions to 40% with an unfavorable opinion and by a 47/41 margin voters say they have a higher opinion of the protestors than they do of the General Assembly. Those numbers may be a reflection of the sentiment North Carolinians hold by a 46/36 margin that the General Assembly is causing North Carolina 'national embarrassment.'
With all this talk of division there is one thing North Carolina voters across party lines can agree on. 78% support mandatory drug testing for members of the General Assembly to only 12% opposed and that sentiment is held by independents (84/11), Republicans (83/9), and Democrats (70/15) alike.
Full results here