PPP’s first North Carolina poll of the 2020 cycle finds the state is likely to once again be a key battleground for President next year. Voters in the state are closely divided on Donald Trump but split narrowly against him, with 46% approving of the job he’s doing to 50% who disapprove.
In match ups against 6 possible Democratic opponents next year, Trump consistently polls in the 44-46% range against all of them. The Democrats poll at anywhere from 45% to 49% with their individual levels of support running roughly in line with their levels of name recognition.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are the best known Democrats, with levels of name recognition in the 80s, and Biden leads Trump 49-44 with Sanders leading Trump 48-45. Elizabeth Warren is the next best known with her level of name recognition in the 70s, and she ties Trump at 46%. Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Cory Booker all have levels of name recognition in the 50s. Harris ties Trump at 45%, with Booker and O’Rourke each a tick behind Trump at 46-45.
Roy Cooper starts out as a favorite for reelection. 44% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 35% who disapprove. That puts him in a good position compared to his two immediate predecessors at the half way point of their time as Governor. In January 2015 Pat McCrory’s approval rating was under water at 41% approving and 45% disapproving of him, and in January 2011 Bev Perdue had a 33% approval rating with 46% of voters disapproving of her.
Cooper is also the only sitting official with a positive approval rating in the state right now. Besides Trump’s negative approval Richard Burr comes in at 33/36 and Thom Tillis who is up for reelection next year comes in at 31/37.
Cooper leads 5 potential Republican opponents for next year by anywhere from 4 to 14 points. The closest possible contest is a rematch with McCrory- Cooper would start out ahead 45-41. The only other Republican who keeps Cooper to a single digit edge is Tillis who would trail him 46-37 if he decided to try to get back into state politics.
Right now the most likely opponent for Cooper is Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. He would start out trailing Cooper by 12 points at 47-35. And as a new legislative session gets under way there’s not much doubt who voters stand with in the power struggles between Cooper and the Republican leaders in the legislature- Cooper would lead Phil Berger 48-34 and Tim Moore 46-32 in hypothetical contests for Governor.
The hottest issue in North Carolina politics over the last month has been what should happen with the contested election in the 9th Congressional District. Only 28% of voters in the state think Mark Harris should be declared as the winner of the election, while 48% think there should be another election because of the allegations of fraud around the election results.
Full results here