Poll: McCrory, GOP lawmakers see approval slide

Posted August 14, 2013 1:45 p.m. EDT
Updated August 14, 2013 2:45 p.m. EDT

— Approval ratings for Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led General Assembly have plummeted in recent weeks, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Public Policy Polling says McCrory's job approval is at a record low 39 percent, with 51 percent of respondents saying they disapprove of his performance as governor. Lawmakers did even worse, with an approval rating of 24 percent.

PPP surveyed 600 North Carolina voters Aug. 8-11, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Although the firm does work for many Democratic candidates, it said the poll wasn't paid for by any campaign or political group.

Renew North Carolina, a foundation set up last fall to support McCrory's agenda, countered the PPP poll numbers by releasing the results of internal polling it conducted Aug. 8-12.

That poll, which surveyed 800 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, shows a 48 percent job approval rating for McCrory and only a 22 percent disapproval rating.

In the PPP poll, half of those surveyed said they believe the General Assembly's actions have embarrassed the state, and 47 percent said they have a higher opinion of the people involved in the so-called "Moral Monday" protests than they do of the legislature. Only 38 percent said they have more respect for lawmakers than the protesters.

Only one-third of respondents favor the $20.6 billion state budget lawmakers approved last month, compared with 52 percent who said they don't like it. An even larger percentage, 55 percent, said they dislike lawmakers' decision to eliminate the annual sales-tax holiday.

McCrory's handling of legislation that adds regulations to North Carolina abortion clinics and restricts which health plans can offer abortion coverage was panned by PPP respondents. Half said they believe he broke a campaign promise not to impose any new restrictions on abortion in the state, and 57 percent said it was inappropriate of him to give a plate of cookies to women protesting the bill outside the Executive Mansion.

"Voters think Pat McCrory handled the abortion bill very poorly," PPP President Dean Debnam said in a statement. "They think he broke a campaign promise by signing it and compounded the problem by being disrespectful to protesters against it."