HB2 Continues To Have Little Support From North Carolinians

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest North Carolina poll continues to find that HB2 is very unpopular, and voters want to see it repealed.

Only 35% of voters in the state support the bill, to 44% who are opposed to it. We continue to find that there are a lot more Republicans (28%) who are opposed to it than there are Democrats (16%) in support of it. 50% of voters in the state would like to see it repealed, compared to only 38% who think it should stay on the books. That includes a 46/39 spread among independents in favor of repealing it.

The reason for voters wanting HB2 repealed are pretty straightforward- they think it’s hurting the state both economically and in terms of its national reputation. Overall only 29% of voters believe HB2 is helping North Carolina, t0 56% who think it’s hurting. That includes a 29/53 spread with independents. Specifically on the issue of the economy, only 12% think it’s having a positive impact on the state to 50% who think it’s hurting. Even among Republicans 14% more think it’s negatively affecting the state’s economy than positively. And just 24% of voters think HB2 is helping the state’s national reputation, to 53% who think it’s hurting.

One final reason for HB2’s unpopularity is that voters don’t believe it’s achieving its stated purpose of making the state safer. Only 36% think it’s made North Carolina safer to 47% who don’t think it has. And among women, who the bill purportedly protects from men in their bathrooms, just 28% think it’s made the state safer to 53% who think it has not. On the whole 2 months after HB2’s passage it’s not getting any more popular.

North Carolina’s major state elections are shaping up to be very tight this year. We find the Governor’s race tied with Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper both at 41% and Libertarian Lon Cecil getting 5%. We’ve never found either candidate ahead by more than 2 or 3 points, and now they’re dead even. This looks like it will be the country’s premier Governor’s race this fall. McCrory continues to be unpopular, with 44% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove, making it 35 months in a row now we’ve found him under water in our polling. But Cooper’s image has taken a little bit of a hit in the last month as well, as negative tv ads started running against him- he’s gone from a 37/27 favorability to 30/33 since our April poll.

The other major statewide races are extremely competitive as well. In the Lieutenant Governor’s race Dan Forest and Linda Coleman are knotted at 38%, with Libertarian J.J. Summerell at 5%. In the Attorney General’s race Democrat Josh Stein has a slight advantage over Republican Buck Newton at 39/38. And in the Treasurer’s race Dale Folwell and Dan Blue III are knotted at 39%.

Other notes on state government:

-The General Assembly continues to be to massively unpopular, with only 19% of voters approving of it to 53% who disapprove. Both the Democrats (35/49 favorability) and the Republicans (32/51) in the General Assembly are relatively unpopular though. Democrats lead 45/43 on the generic legislative ballots which would likely translate to modest gains in seats.

-A pair of Republican proposals that have cropped up in the General Assembly over the last few weeks are very unpopular. Just 15% of voters support the bill that would essentially gut 4 HBCU’s in addition to Western Carolina University, to 51% who oppose it. That bill is opposed by Democrats (6/70), independents (22/40), and Republicans (21/37) alike. Voters also oppose, 18/51, a proposed bill that would put significant regulatory constraints on the development of renewable energy projects in North Carolina. That bill also faces opposition from independents (17/56), Republicans (15/49), and Democrats (20/48) alike.

Full results here

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