Elon, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory's approval rating continues to sink from the highs he registered in his first months in office, according to a poll released Thursday by Elon University.
The Elon University Poll, which surveyed 701 registered voters statewide between last Friday and Monday, also found that less than a third of North Carolina voters approve of the actions of the state General Assembly. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Forty-nine percent of voters gave McCrory a thumbs-up in a poll Elon conducted in April, compared with 36 percent who disapproved of his job performance. In the latest poll, his approval has dropped to 36 percent, with 46 percent saying he's doing a bad job.
The findings are similar to a poll conducted last month by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, which pegged McCrory's approval at 39 percent.
"The current survey found the steepest declines in support came from Democrats, but McCrory lost support from independents and Republicans as well," Elon University Poll officials noted.
Almost three-fourths of the Democrats surveyed now disapprove of McCrory, up from only 44 percent in April. His disapproval rating among independents has jumped from 17 percent in April to 42 percent now – only 37 percent of independents approve – while discontent among Republicans has almost doubled, from 11 to 21 percent.
Female voters also deserted McCrory in recent months, with his disapproval rate rising from 29 to 49 percent. A similar jump was seen among young voters, with disapproval increasing from 24 to 45 percent among people ages 18 to 30.
Two of the most controversial bills McCrory signed this summer affect women and young voters. One adds regulations to the operation of abortion clinics and limits health insurance coverage for abortions, while sweeping changes to election laws prevent students from using their school IDs to verify their identity at the polls, eliminate same-day registration and curtail the length of the early voting period.
McCrory can look favorably on the fact that voters dislike state lawmakers more than him.
Only 32 percent of those Elon surveyed said they approve of the General Assembly's job performance, compared with 48 percent who don't. Those numbers are down from 37 percent approval and 39 percent disapproval in April.
Although the Republican-controlled legislature saw more support from GOP voters polled – 52 percent, up from 46 percent in April – support among independents and Democrats fell sharply. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats now disapprove of the legislature's job, up from 50 percent five months ago, and 53 percent of independents give lawmakers a thumbs down, compared with 40 percent in April.
Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed in the latest poll said they believe North Carolina is on the wrong track, compared with 32 percent who said the state is heading in the right direction. A similar question wasn't asked in the April poll.
As the party in control, Republicans took the brunt of the criticism for the state's problems. Forty-nine percent of those Elon surveyed said the GOP was to blame, compared with only 19 percent who blamed Democrats.