I confess. I love PPP’s monthly North Carolina poll. While I don’t put too much credence in polling on races 15 months out, I’m always interested to see how the mood of the electorate is changing, or not, month to month. This month’s numbers are particularly interesting.
The August poll has trends that began earlier in the summer. The gender gap that I noticed last month seems to be closing. Unfortunately for the GOP, it’s because men are responding more like women than vice-versa.
In July, men approved of McCrory by a 49-42 margin while his approval among women was at 32, disapproval at 54. In August, he’s rebounded slightly with women, 37-52 but tanked with men, who now have him at 41 approve, 50 disapprove. That’s a tough swing for the governor, whose overall approval rating sank below 40%.
We see similar numbers in assessing the GOP’s job running government. Even though they’re doing slightly better this month with women, they’re now upside down with men by almost 20 points. The gains they’ve made with women are unsubstantial but the loss among men should give the GOP pause.
In addition, Republicans should be concerned about moderates. McCrory’s approval rating among this crucial group of voters dropped 14 points to an abysmal 18-70 approval rating. Their approval of GOP governance is stuck with almost three-quarters disapproving for the second month in a row.
Finally, Democrats have a net favorability of almost 20 points among moderates, 48-22. Among the GOP it’s a staggering net negative of 56 points, 15-71. Clearly, the GOP brand is seriously damaged among moderate voters.
Overall, the GOP is in a pretty deep hole. The only people who are sticking with them are the conservative Republicans. Everyone else is disgruntled. In particular, moderates are disillusioned. If the GOP hopes to retain power for any length time, they have to mend that relationship. Unfortunately for Democrats, they have the money–and the time–to do it.