-PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds that Pat McCrory remains unpopular, and would find himself in a toss up contest for reelection. 40% of voters approve of the job McCrory's doing to 45% who disapprove. This marks the 10th month in a row McCrory's approval numbers have been under water. McCrory finds himself tied in a hypothetical contest with Attorney General Roy Cooper at 43%. Cooper is unknown to 50% of North Carolinians, but among those who do have an opinion about him 33% see him favorably to 17% with a negative view. McCrory would lead former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker 45/38 in a head to head, mostly because Meeker is currently known to only 28% of voters in the state.
-PPP continues to find that North Carolina is likely to maintain its new found swing state status in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate for President. Clinton leads all of her potential Republican opponents in the state by small margins- it's 45/44 over Jeb Bush, 46/44 over Chris Christie, 47/43 over Rand Paul, and 48/43 over Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is the first choice of Republican voters in the state- 22% say they'd like him as the nominee to 18% for Jeb Bush, 12% each for Chris Christie and Ted Cruz, 9% each for Rand Paul and Paul Ryan, 7% for Scott Walker, 5% for Marco Rubio, and 2% for Bobby Jindal. Huckabee leads based on his strength with 'very conservative' voters, while Bush does better with moderates.
-The city of Charlotte's statewide reputation has taken a little bit of a hit over the last couple years. In 2012 a statewide PPP survey found that 59% of North Carolinians had a favorable opinion of the city to 18% with a negative opinion. Now the city's favorability has declined a net 20 points to 44/23. The reason for that hit is a little ambiguous though- certainly it could be because of Patrick Cannon's recent resignation as Mayor, but it also might be partially because voters don't care for the city's former Mayor who's Governor now. The dip in Charlotte's numbers has come roughly equally across party lines.
-In 2012 North Carolinians voted by a 22 point margin to ban gay marriage in the state. Now less than 2 years later voters say they oppose gay marriage by only 13 points, mirroring the kind of movement we've seen on the issue across the country. 40% say they think it should be legal to 53% who continue to think it should be illegal. Showing the direction things are headed in on the issue, 62% of young voters support it to only 33% who believe it should be illegal.
There is increasingly little division among voters in the state about whether gay couples should at least have some sort of legal rights in the form of civil unions. 62% support either marriage or civil unions for same sex couples to only 34% who think they should have no legal recognition at all. 68% of both Democrats and independents support at least civil unions, and even Republicans narrowly do by a 50/48 spread.
-North Carolina remains Braves Country when it comes to MLB fan loyalties. 32% of voters in the state say they're Braves fans to 10% for the Yankees, 9% for the Red Sox, and 4% for the Orioles with no one else registering above 2%. A plurality of voters- 39%- say they don't have a team they pull for though. One thing that might change that is an MLB team coming to North Carolina and voters in the state are receptive to that idea- 47% would support a team to only 24% who are opposed. Voters in the Triangle (50/29) are more open to the idea than those in Charlotte (42/31), the other place where a team could most logically go.
North Carolina may not have a major league team but few states can match its slate of minor league teams. The Durham Bulls are the most popular in the state on that front with 17% followed by the Carolina Mudcats at 13%, Charlotte Knights at 9%, Asheville Tourists at 8%, Greensboro Grasshoppers and Winston-Salem Dash at 7%, Hickory Crawdads at 5%, Kannapolis Intimidators at 4%, and Burlington Royals at 2%. Unsurprisingly the Bulls are dominant in the Triangle, the Mudcats are tops in eastern North Carolina, the Triad is closely split between the Grasshoppers and the Dash, the Tourists do best in the Mountains, and metro Charlotte goes for the Knights.
Full results here