Under the Dome

McCrory says internal poll shows lead over Cooper; most surveys make it a tie

Updated: Internal polling released Thursday by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s re-election team shows the governor with his first sizable lead over Attorney General Roy Cooper, but cautions the margin will narrow, according to the campaign.

Recent polls have shown the two in a dead heat, including one by PPP released Thursday showing Cooper up by 3 percentage points, which is within the margin of error; so, a dead heat. But this one finds a 13 percent advantage for McCrory. The campaign did not release any data supporting the findings, nor disclose the margin of error.

“We should fully expect these numbers to narrow somewhat once Progress NC and their outside liberal affiliates and partners in Washington, D.C. start spending large sums of money on North Carolina’s airwaves,” campaign pollster Bill Lee wrote in a memo outlining the results.

Later Thursday, the McCrory campaign emailed supporters for contributions based on the poll results.

N.C. Democratic Party spokesman Ford Porter releasing an unsupported internal poll shows the McCrory campaign is worried.

“After getting outraised by nearly a million dollars and with poll after poll after poll showing the governor in real trouble, it looks like the McCrory campaign is ready to hit the panic button,” Porter said. “These numbers are as out of touch with reality as Governor McCrory is with middle class families.”

Besides the governor’s 49-36 percent margin, with 15 percent undecided, the survey found 17 percent didn’t know who he was, and he has a 51 percent personal approval rating, with a disapproval of 32 percent.

Cooper, as previous polls have noted, has a recognition problem: Half of those polled either don’t know who he is or don’t have an opinion of him. He has a 31 percent personal approval rating and 19 percent disapproval.

Lee’s memo says the survey was taken of 800 respondents who voted in the 2012 or 2014 elections and newly registered voters, by cell phone and land line. The tabulated results were not included in the memo.

The memo didn’t include when the survey was taken, but a spokesman for the campaign later said it was done Jan. 11-14. It reportedly included 43 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican, and 27 percent unaffiliated.