News: Quick Takes

Public Policy Polling finds N.C. closely divided on Trump, Cooper re-election

Public Policy Polling released a new poll reflecting a divide among North Carolinians over the 2020 elections for president and governor.

PPP, which has Democratic clients, surveyed 610 registered voters on June 17 and June 18. The margin of error is plus or minus 4%. The survey was a mixed mode model with some respondents completing the survey over a landline while others participated in an opt-in internet panel.

President Donald Trump’s approval is underwater in North Carolina, but it’s close. Nearly 50% of respondents disapprove of the president’s job performance, while 46% approve of the job he’s doing. Six percent are unsure.

“North Carolina’s evenly divided on Trump’s re-election,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a news release. “That’s not good news for him given that he won the state by 4 points in 2016. North Carolinians are moving against him.”

When matched up against five hypothetical Democratic presidential candidates, Trump narrowly leads Sen. Kamala Harris (47-46), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (48-46), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (47-44), but he trails when matched against former Vice President Joe Biden (49-46) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (48-47).

The N.C. race for governor is also close, with PPP finding current Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper leading Republican challenger Lt. Gov. Dan Forest by 45% to 41%. In PPP’s January poll, Cooper led Forest by 47% to 35%.

“Roy Cooper’s favored for re-election but it’s still likely to be competitive,” Debnam said. “Given the level of polarization in the state the days of statewide candidates winning their races by double digits are pretty much over.”

Opinions about Cooper’s time in office, like Trump’s, are narrowly divided. Forty percent approve of the governor’s job performance while 41% disapprove. Eighteen percent are unsure. A majority of voters aren’t certain about Forest, with 60% saying they cannot say whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion. Twenty-three percent say they have a favorable opinion while 17% view Forest unfavorably.

A majority of respondents aren’t happy with the job the North Carolina General Assembly is doing with 45% disapproving and 25% approving. Thirty percent are unsure. Both Democrats and Republicans are largely viewed unfavorably in the General Assembly. For Democrats, 45% of respondents view them unfavorably compared to 36% who view them favorably. For Republicans, 44% view them unfavorably compared to 38% favorably.

The poll also asked whether political campaigns that receive offers of assistance from foreign governments should report the offers to the FBI. A large majority, 73% said political campaigns should report them. Only 9% don’t think political campaigns should report to the FBI. Eighteen percent are unsure.

Trump recently came under fire for saying he would consider accepting dirt on his 2020 political opponent from a foreign government, but if he thought something was wrong he would consider going to the FBI.