As Bev Perdue gives her State of the State address tonight it is no surprise that our last tracking poll found the economy as the top issue for 51% of North Carolina voters.
Perdue's performance is pretty strong with that group, with 53% of folks listing the economy as their biggest concern approving of her job performance compared to 25% who disapprove. Her speech tonight gives her an opportunity to reach out to that 21% who are ambivalent.
She doesn't figure to give a lot of airtime this evening to the issue the second largest group of voters in the state lists as their biggest one, which is moral and family values at 16%. Only 20% of those folks approve of the Governor's performance with 52% disapproving, and they're the kind of people it would be hard for a Democratic Governor to ever win over.
The other three state issues polling above 5% are education and taxes at 7% and health care at 6%. Perdue repeatedly said during the campaign that she wanted to make North Carolina the 'healthiest and most well educated' state in the country and given that commitment it is not a surprise that she gets relatively strong marks from voters who list those issues as their main ones.
Perdue does not get such good reviews from people who say taxes are their biggest concern, with 15% approving and 59% disapproving of her job performance. Given the likelihood that she will be discussing some deep budget cuts this evening it may be an opportunity for her to show that segment of the electorate that she's committed to getting through the recession without major tax hikes.
Overall this poll found Perdue's approval rating at 43% with 32% disapproving and 25% undecided. PPP will have a fresh look at her reviews next week to incorporate any reaction to her speech.