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.
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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.