Cooper Takes Small Lead Over McCrory

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest North Carolina poll finds Roy Cooper leading Pat McCrory in the race for Governor, 44/41. Those numbers are flipped from a month ago when McCrory led by the same spread, and they end a long string of polls in which McCrory held the lead. 

What’s changed since early April is Republican leaning voters souring on McCrory a little bit. In early April he had a 69 point advantage over Cooper among voters who cast their ballots for Mitt Romney in 2012, 80/11. This month his lead within that group is down to 58 points at 73/15. That difference accounts for pretty much the entire difference between McCrory’s three point lead on the previous poll and his three point deficit on this one. It seems quite probable that McCrory’s high profile vetoes of two conservative pieces of legislation the Republicans in the legislature passed this week could be leading to at least some temporary weakness with GOP leaning voters- time will tell if that proves to be lasting or just a temporary blip.

McCrory’s approval ratings continue to be under water, as they have been for the last two years. 38% of voters approve of him to 44% who disapprove. A plurality of North Carolinians- 44%- have no opinion about Cooper either way but among those who do have one 32% see him favorably to 24% with a negative opinion.

There’s been little change in the state of the North Carolina Senate race over the last month. Voters remain closely divided on Richard Burr- 35% approve of the job he’s doing to 36% who disapprove- little different from his 36/37 spread a month ago. Despite his tepid approval numbers though Burr still starts out with pretty healthy leads for reelection. He’s up by anywhere from 9 to 18 points against the 5 Democrats we tested against him.

Coming closest to Burr are Kay Hagan (49/40) and Mike McIntyre (43/34), each of whom trail by 9 points. Dan Blue has a 14 point deficit at 48/34, Grier Martin trails by 15 at 46/31, and Jeff Jackson is down by 18 at 48/30. When it comes to how voters feel about the potential Democratic candidates we continue to find the same thing- most of them are not well known. Blue has 34% name recognition, McIntyre’s is 33%, and Martin and Jackson’s each comes in at 21%. Hagan is pretty universally well known but continues to have upside down favorability numbers after being subjected to endless negative ads during her reelection contest last year- 39% see her favorably to 51% with an unfavorable opinion.

Full results here

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