Poll: GOP faces tough environment in NC

by | Jan 24, 2018 | 2018 elections, Ads, North Carolina, Polling | 13 comments

Public Policy Polling released its first North Carolina poll of the year. Like polls around the country, it’s full of warning signs for Republicans. While the cycle is just beginning, the GOP faces some strong headwinds.

Donald Trump’s favorability rating is a little better here than in the country as a whole but not by much. Only 42% of registered voters approve of him, while 50% disapprove. Trump will likely be a major, if not driving, factor in the election in November. If those numbers don’t improve, he’ll be an anchor on Republican candidates up and down the ballot.

In contrast, Roy Cooper is still enjoying fairly broad support. Far more support him, 49%, than disapprove of him, 33%. That means Cooper can campaign for Democratic candidates without bringing any baggage. It also means that his Break the Majority effort should continue to see funds roll in.

The legislature is highly unpopular. Only 19% approve, while 51% disapprove. There’s seems to be a little “both sides” mentality out there since voters don’t like either Democrats in the legislature or Republicans. However, Democrats are only six points underwater, 39% to 45%, while Republicans are sixteen points down, 35% to 51%. The GOP will take the bigger hit, though, since they are the ones in power and the target of dissatisfaction. They should probably rethink their propensity  for calling the legislature into special session to enact controversial bills.  The less they’re in the public eye, the more their reputation will recover.

On policy matters, the GOP is also suffering. The tax bill that they’re lauding is still not popular. Only 37% approve of it while 42% disapprove. By a 25 point margin, voters believe it will benefit the wealthy more than the middle class and families. That’s not much for them to run on.

Voters also still support the Affordable Care Act. They want it fixed, not scrapped and only 31% support the effort to repeal it. Health care played heavily in Virginia’s Democratic wave election last November and could hurt Republicans in North Carolina in November this year.

The election is still a long way away and a lot can change. In 2014, the political environment shifted dramatically in favor of Republicans in the last few weeks of the cycle. Right now, though, the environment is tough for Republicans in North Carolina. Their elected leaders are unpopular and the agenda they’ve pushed is, too. They’ll need some breaks in the coming months to fend off a wave. Democrats, for their part, should be waxing their surfboards.


  1. ebrun

    D.g. The Economist is a British news and opinion magazine that claims to be neither left or right wing. But since 2004, the magazine’s editorial support has been of the side of the Democratic Party in American elections. (They endorsed Kerry, Obams twice and Hillary). And since Donald Trump’s candidacy and election, their editorials have been sharply critical of Trump and his administration.

    If you read polling results reported by Real Clear Politics, the You/Gov polls are always listed as “Economist/YouGov.”So most savvy observers will no doubt conclude that the magazine is co-sponsoring the You/Gov polls. Hope that clarifies their relationship for you.

  2. Norman Bossert

    I am a candidate in the 48th Senate district. The energy here is incredible and support feels like it is growing daily. It is early to predict a flip, but at this point it is a good prospect. Bossertforstatesenate.com.

  3. Jay Ligon

    Republicans are doing well to avoid being tarred, feathered and run out of town on rails. Republicans are the party of sexual predators, porn stars, child molesters and possibly incest.

    Republicans funnel money from Russian organized crime into the coffers of candidates by means of the NRA. Republicans are taking health care away from millions of Americans as quickly as they can. Blood and carnage are on their hands. They issue death warrants for poor people.

    They are the party of enriching the rich and kicking everyone else in the teeth. They have become so blatantly racist that their redistricting maps and their laws are being struck down by the courts. Their leader praises Nazis and white supremacists. He is not an American hero; he is Cadet Bone Spurs.

    Republicans are anti-American. They do the bidding of the leader of Russian. They conspire against our own law enforcement agencies. They spread lies about American heroes, dead and alive. Their propaganda network, Fox News, is owned by a man who was married to a Chinese Communist spy, the same operative who is trying to turn the president’s son-in-law into a Chinese intelligence asset just like Putin turned the Donald into a Russian asset years ago.

    Donald’s fortune, after six bankruptcies, arose out of money laundering for gangsters in the East.

    Republicans are not loyal Americans. They are a criminal organization with a perverted, sociopath crime boss calling the shots. They are not building an American future. They are destroying what America has been. A regime of lies, liquor, graft, whores, sickness, death and treason should not be the formula for success. It has sustained them for too long.

    • ebrun

      What a loathsome diatribe. Sets a new low for hate-filled political invective.

      • Jay Ligon

        Ebrun, I’ll leave it up to you to point out the good things about pedophilia, treason and paying porn stars for their silence.

  4. Lee Mortimer

    There’s a bit of interesting convergence between North Carolina and national polling rates. Trump’s 42% approval rating here is 8 points less than his 50% vote share in our state in the 2016 election. Trump’s latest national approval rating (YouGov/Economist) is 39%, and that’s 7 points under his national popular vote share of 46%. So, there seems to be some consistency here.

    • ebrun

      PPP–wasn’t that the same polling outfit that showed Hillary 4 or 5 points up in NC just before the 2016 General Election? PPP’s polling is often off base because they poll registered voters, not likely voters. While the pendulum will no doubt swing back some toward the Democrats in this off year election, one should be wary of any polling that doesn’t try to identify likely voters. Right now, only Rasmussen is polling likely voters and the GOP always does better under that polling measure.

      The latest national polls from Fox and YouGov show Republicans down by 4 and 6 in the generic ballot. This is a substantial tightening since last month and no doubt reflects the impact of the aborted government shutdown that obviously hurt the Democrats. Latest YouGov poll shows Trump up four points to 43 (still down eleven) while Fox has him up to 45/53. Seems public opinion is quite volatile these days.

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