In past campaign seasons, you could reliably expect Andy Griffith's name to be invoked by North Carolina Democrats up and down the ticket. The longtime Tar Heel celebrity even appeared in ads for Democratic governors Mike Easley and Bev Perdue as recently as 2008.
But another ad he starred in may have done him in.
According to Tom Jensen at PPP, Griffith's favorability with NC voters was at 56% during the summer of 2008. Only 9% saw him unfavorably. But that started to change after he appeared in a 2010 ad supporting the federal health care reform bill.
A poll released today finds him sliding even further. His favorability now stands at 32%, with 23% disapproval. Jensen says the decline in his numbers is spearheaded by GOP disapproval.
The main reason Griffith has dropped so far is that Republicans now express an outright negative opinion of him at 24/39. His favorability was a 35/31 spread with them last fall. Although the fall isn't as dramatic, he's also down with Democrats (from 53/11 to 39/12) and independents (from 40/27 to 28/23).
What would Aunt Bea say?
Here's the poll.