Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The toll on Governor Pat's approval numbers?

It's getting harder to keep track of all the reasons North Carolinians are displeased with Pat McCrory. Right now, it's Duke Energy, his former employer, and the governor's waffling on leaking coal ash ponds. There's also teacher pay and the Medicaid expansion rejection and cutting unemployment benefits and a broken abortion promise and delivering cookies and "thanks for nothing" and, of course, the comedy that is the Department of Health and Human Services.

So how bad are the polling numbers looking right now for Gov. McCrisis? Not that bad, really. An American Insights survey of 611 registered N.C. voters showed McCrory enjoying a slightly positive approval rating - 43 percent who approve of the job he's doing to 40 percent who don't. (An Elon poll released this week had McCrory's approval at 36 percent, with 43 percent disapproving, but even that is an almost three percent improvement for the governor since November.)

There's some softness in the American Insights numbers for McCrory. More people strongly disapprove of the governor (27 percent) than strongly approve (17 percent), and his net approval with independents is at negative 2, according to American Insights. He's also under water with the important middle age demographics - the 35-49 age group disapproves of the governor by four points; the 50-64 age group feels the same by six points. Those are two of your reliable voting groups.

But McCrory is doing surprisingly well with women, who are evenly divided at 41 percent, and of course he is strong among Republicans, men, and older folks (65+). And his overall numbers are even more impressive considering that anti-incumbent sentiment (albeit for members of Congress) is at an all-time high in the U.S., according to a Washington Post poll today.

How does that all add up? Here's one measure: McCrory leads N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper by six percentage points, 44-38, in the race for governor in 2016.

It's a very early poll, of course. It's also a reminder of party entrenchment - there's just not a lot of movement with voters who identify with either party. (McCrory gets 79 percent of the Republican vote against Cooper.)

But your bigger takeaway of this poll and others: McCrory is surviving a rocky first year of being tugged between the extreme conservatives in the General Assembly and the angry progressives who feel betrayed that the governor isn't the moderate he said he was.

The governor will surely spend 2014 moving back toward the center on issues such as teacher pay, although it's difficult to imagine N.C. voters being fooled again into thinking he's a moderate. But as even this early poll shows - given his ever-solid Republican numbers, he only needs some independents to give him a second chance.

Peter St. Onge


misswhit said...

Since the editorial board and the NY Times have spent the past year attacking the governor incessantly, it must frustrate the heck out of you guys that his approval ratings are not in the tank. Does that mean you're going to ratchet your criticism up even more?

Unknown said...

At least he hasn't been convicted of any felonies, yet. Nor has he been MIA during crisis, such as one former governess.
To blame Duke's problems on McCrory shows how twisted the Observer is. Where were the Democratic leaders for the past 60+ years regarding these coal ash ponds?? The Dems have controled every aspect of our state gov't for decades, yet this is now McCrory's doing? They were built before the former mayor was even a resident of the state.
The Dems had a perfect opportunity to bring this issue to the forefront during the DNC but instead, they were taking millions from the Duke Energy.

John Smith said...

Governor McCrory is doing a fine job--and North Carolina is on the right track after a century of Democrat mismanagement and corruption. But he has been viciously attacked by a partisan left-wing media that wouldn't know fair and honest reporting if it could actually keep its health care...

Exit 0 said...

Describe a source for fair and honest reporting, Mr. Smith.

Karl said...

Yet another hit piece on someone who doesn't tote the party line of "Progressives".....

Pathetic Charlotte Observer...even for you.....

BTW, how are those McClatchy returns working for ya?

Natasha Tomlinson said...

McCrory is an atrocious governor: but the NC Democratic Party only have themselves to blame for his presence in Governor's Mansion ( and yes I am a Democrat.) the Democratic Party has put forth some of the crookedest and incompetent candidates whose main criteria for nomination have been how deep their roots run in eastern N C NOT how good a governor they can be. So , to me McCrory, as atrocious as he is , holds up a mirror everyday to the NC Democratic Party to remind us of our failings.

Paul Booth said...


The CPUSA called and said your membership dues are late!

Paul Booth said...


Atrocious-Extremely wicked, brutal, cruel, barbaric, utterly revolting.


Gov. McCrory is guilty of leadership skills, management abilities and experience. He is turning this bassackward state into a developed, thriving economy. The Duke distractions are a ploy by the left to wrest power from the vast majority of right thinking North Carolinian's.

He has stood up to the moron monday idiots, non-cookie eating protesters and belligerent chefs with poise and determination. Now he is leading the way on coal ash inspections (that policy was previously amended and approved by Dumplins Perdue by the way), amid constant distractions from the likes of little Petey St Sponge.

I get your point though. What do you expect from the lunatic fringe that is controlling the NC Dimocrat Party? If Randy Voller got his way, Ben Mohammed Chavis would be the new executive director. This Farrakhan loving buffoon gives new meaning to the word atrocious!

Garth Vader said...

Atrocious-Extremely wicked, brutal, cruel, barbaric, utterly revolting.

Sounds like the Eugenics program run for decades by the NC Democrats.