Can Gov. Roy Cooper keep his campaign promises?

As we did with his first term, and for former Gov. Pat McCrory before him, WRAL News is tracking Gov. Roy Cooper’s progress on campaign promises.

We update this promise-tracker each year, and this latest update is as of Jan. 2, 2022—one year into Cooper’s second term. This early in the governor’s tenure, most promises remain in progress.

There are nine promises, from Medicaid expansion to increasing diversity in North Carolina’s teaching ranks. We set the pandemic aside, so you won't see the governor’s efforts on COVID-19 graded here.

Making good on these promises requires impact, not just effort, but our grades do allow for the political realities of divided government. Cooper is a Democrat, but for his entire time in office the North Carolina General Assembly has been controlled by Republicans.

Grades are assigned by WRAL’s @NCCapitol team. As we have said before this is an honest but imperfect attempt to measure Cooper’s progress, not necessarily on what he ought to do, but on the bigger proposals he has promised to push.

How it works

Scroll down and click on a promise for a summary, its source, and its status. To return to this page, click the key at the top of the screen. We rate promises on the following scale:

Promise Tracker: Achieved

Achieved: This is the mark of a promise that has been kept. Cooper achieved the goal he set out for himself.

Promise Tracker: Kept so far

Kept so far: Cooper committed to an ongoing behavior, such as refusing to sign a particular type of bill. These are promises he can't really achieve full marks on until close to the end of his term.

Promise Tracker: In progress

In progress: Most promises start out as "In progress." These are pledges that Cooper may be working on but hasn't completed yet. These include promises where the administration may have hit some critical benchmarks in working toward a goal.

Promise Tracker: Mixed Results

Mixed results: Cooper has partially achieved his promise but fell short in some way. For example, governors often set deadlines that they miss but achieve an overall goal, albeit later than planned.

Promise Tracker: Failed

Failed: Cooper made an effort but ran into problems, such as opposition from the legislature, which blocked his way.

Promise Tracker: Broken

Broken: Cooper had the ability to follow through on his promise but did not do so.

What we're tracking

Here are the nine promises we're tracking. Click on each headline for more about what Cooper promised and how he is doing.

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