-PPP's annual look at who North Carolinians are rooting for in the UNC/Duke game finds the Tar Heels as always with a pretty substantial advantage over their rivals from up the road. 41% say they'll be rooting for Carolina tonight to 27% for the Blue Devils. In a period of unprecedented political division in the state, pulling for UNC is one thing that brings citizens together across party lines- Republicans (48/29), independents (37/24), and Democrats (37/28) are all pulling for the Heels.
There's been a lot of controversy surrounding UNC-Chapel Hill over the last few years but it's still held in very high esteem by people across the state. 54% of North Carolinians say they consider it to be one of the best public universities in the country compared to only 21% who think it is not.
-If North Carolina had an election for Governor today it would be a toss up. 43% of voters in the state say they'd reelect Pat McCrory, while 41% say their choice would be Attorney General Roy Cooper. McCrory continues to have a negative approval rating, with 39% of voters giving him good marks to 44% who disapprove. That is up a bit from a month ago when he was at 37/47. Even in his fourth term as Attorney General, Cooper remains unknown to most North Carolinians with 54% saying they don't have an opinion about him either way. He's popular among those who are familiar with him though, 27% rating him favorably to 18% with a negative opinion.
-One outgrowth of Chris Christie's declining poll numbers over the last month is that Hillary Clinton now leads all of her potential Republican opponents for 2016 in North Carolina. She's up 3 on Chris Christie and Rand Paul at 45/42 and 47/44 respectively, 4 on Jeb Bush at 47/43, and 5 on Mike Huckabee at 48/43.
Huckabee is now the preferred choice of North Carolina Republicans to be their candidate in 2016. 20% say he'd be their top pick to 15% for Jeb Bush, 14% for Rand Paul, 11% for Chris Christie, 8% for Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan, 7% for Marco Rubio, 4% for Scott Walker, and 3% for Bobby Jindal. Huckabee leads with both conservatives and moderates, the first person we've seen in our 2016 polling who can really bring together both factions of the party.