For weeks Republicans have been asking, “Will Kay Hagan campaign with Barack Obama?” With the president’s approval ratings upside down and his signature program, Obamacare, still unpopular, the GOP is giddy at the prospect of the incumbent Senator running away from the head of her party. The same question, though, could be asked of legislators in regards to the governor.
A High Point University poll shows Pat McCrory’s numbers upside down and heading in the wrong direction. While the sample is all adults instead of likely voters, the trend must still be disturbing for the governor and his party. His approval rating is 36% and his disapproval rating is 49%. His disapproval numbers increased nine points from last month. That’s not a good sign.
Admittedly, legislative races are more localized than U. S. Senate races, which have almost all become national elections, but, as the first Republican governor in 20 years, I’m sure the GOP legislators would love to be able to stump with him. If the current numbers hold, I doubt we’ll see much of McCrory on the campaign trail.
It’s not just the approval ratings of the chief executives, though. It’s also the economic indicators. When the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate was dropping in North Carolina, as well as nationally, McCrory and GOP legislators crowed about the effectiveness of Republican policies. North Carolina Democrats countered that, no, the drop was due more to discouraged job seekers leaving the workforce.
With the same news, Obama’s team pointed to the dropping unemployment rate as evidence that his economic policies were working. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) delivered the bad news that, in fact, the economy was still suffering and, yes, the drop was due to people leaving the workforce.
In reality, the statistics both sides like to throw around will have little impact on the election. People will decide for themselves whether they feel like things are getting better or not. Republicans will try to make the election about Obama and Obamacare. Hagan can’t make the election about McCrory, per se, but if Thom TIllis is the nominee, she can try to focus it on the failures of the legislature. But it’s easier said than done.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >