North Carolinians are still mad at the Republicans in charge of state government for how things went down in the legislative session over the summer, but the anger isn't quite what it was a couple months ago.
Pat McCrory remains unpopular with a 39/51 approval rating, but that's up from its low point of 35/53 in September. Approval for the Republicans in state government as a whole is up a tick as well, from 32/57 to 34/55. And 39% of voters now say that GOP control of the state has been a good thing to 50% who say bad, up from a 36/54 spread a couple months ago. The numbers are all still bad for the Republicans, but they're not as bad as they were in the immediate aftermath of the session.
The most disappointing change for Democrats from the summer though might be how the generic legislative ballot has shifted. In July they had a 9 point lead on it at 51/42. With the way the district lines are gerrymandered it still would have been difficult for them to pick up either chamber of the legislature even with that lead, but it would have put them in good position to win a decent number of seats back. Now it's down to a 2 point lead at 45/43. That's still certainly a better position for the party than the last two elections, but they need to hope Republicans make everyone mad again in the short session next spring.
Other notes from North Carolina politics:
-51% of voters in the state want the charges against Moral Monday protesters to be dropped, compared to only 33% who think they should be prosecuted. Majorities of Democrats and independents, and even 29% of GOP voters think charges should be dropped.
-There's no doubt that DHHS is a big part of Pat McCrory's problems this year. Only 24% of voters approve of the job it's done so far during his administration, to 47% who disapprove. Even among Republicans DHHS gets a pretty negative 26/42 approval rating. Taking action to show he means business about changing things there is one step that might help improve his approval numbers.
-Voters in the state also support the Employment Non Discrimination Act that was passed by the Senate last week, 43/26. 62% of Democrats support it while only 46% of Republicans are opposed, and independents support it by a 13 point spread at 37/24 as well.
-Looking ahead to the 2016 Presidential race in North Carolina, Chris Christie is the only Republican who leads Hillary Clinton in the state at this early stage. He's up 46-43. Clinton leads Jeb Bush narrowly in a hypothetical contest (47/43) and then has wider leads over Rand Paul of 9 points (50/41) and Ted Cruz of 12 points (51/39).
In addition to being the strongest Republican against Clinton, Christie also leads the Republican primary field in the state with 20% to 16% for Jeb Bush, 12% for Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, 10% for Marco Rubio, 7% for Paul Ryan, 6% for Bobby Jindal, 2% for Rick Santorum, and 1% for Scott Walker. Like we've found elsewhere Christie has a dominant lead with moderates and a decent sized one with 'somewhat conservative' voters that make up for his struggles with voters who identify themselves as 'very conservative.'
Full results here