A new poll shows Attorney General Roy Cooper with his first lead over Gov. Pat McCrory in the 2016 campaign for governor.
The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling survey found Cooper leading McCory by 44-41 percentage points, which is a reversal from a month ago.
PPP’s Tom Jensen pegs the split to support for the governor slipping among voters who went for Mitt Romney in 2012. McCrory had a 69-point advantage in early April in that group, which is now a 58-point advantage.
Jensen says the governor’s recent vetoes of two conservative-backed bills — allowing magistrates to avoid performing same-sex marriages, and making it harder to reveal workplace abuses — might have hurt him, at least in the short run. The governor said as much last week, speaking to a business group, but told them he had to do what he thought was right.
PPP found 38 percent of voters approve of McCrory and 44 percent disapprove. There were 44 percent who had no opinion about Cooper; of those who did have an opinion, 32 percent see him favorably and 24 percent negatively.
The survey of 561 registered voters was taken from May 28 to 31; 80 percent of interviews were conducted over the phone, and 20 percent over the Internet to reach those without land lines. The margin of error is 4.1 percent.