Perdue's approval rating low even before gaffe

rchristensen@newsobserver.comSeptember 29, 2011 

A new survey shows that Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue has her lowest job ratings in nearly two years.

The poll of North Carolina voters found that 42 percent approve of the job that Perdue is doing as governor, while 48 percent disapprove, according to a survey conducted for the Civitas Institute, a conservative advocacy group.

That is the lowest approval rating for Perdue in a Civitas poll since October 2009.

The spin: “Despite voters' general approval of the governor's response to Hurricane Irene, they are still not happy with Perdue when considering her overall performance,” said Francis DeLuca, Civitas president.

The survey of 600 likely North Carolina voters was conducted Sept. 22-25 by National Research Inc of Holmdel, N.J. and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

A survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm based in Raleigh, found Perdue with an approval rating of 40 percent and a disapproval rating of 44 percent. The Public Policy poll of 520 likely voters was conducted Sept. 1-4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

UPDATED, 2:45 p.m.: At a Civitas luncheon Thursday, N.C. GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer made a bold prediction: Perdue will not be the Democratic Party nominee for governor. "You heard it hear first," he said.

He said the combination of the economy, low approval ratings and criminal indictments that may touch her inner campaign circle are too much. He predicted party elders ask her to step aside or she loses in a Democratic primary.

Who does he see as a potential replacement on the ballot? Former state Sen. Cal Cunningham or former UNC system President Erskine Bowles. "It's a wide-open field," said Fetzer, who is now a political strategist.

Given his background, his words are taken with caution. But the conservative crowd seemed to salivate at the idea.

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