Thursday, June 18, 2009

NC voters high on Hunt, down on Easley

Last month PPP asked North Carolina voters who their favorites and least favorites were among the last five Presidents, and this month we took on Governors.

The winner of the least favorite nod, no surprise, is Mike Easley. 45% of respondents chose him, followed by Bev Perdue at 26%.

What is remarkable is the unanimity with which respondents picked Easley- he was the choice of literally every group PPP tracks by ideology, community type, gender, party, race, age, and region. In the Triangle, where his recent troubles have drawn the most media coverage, 60% said he was their least favorite.

Even with two former Republican Governors in the mix Easley finished first among Democrats at 40%, and Bev Perdue came in second with her own party at 20%, another indicator that she has ruffled some feathers with the base in the first months of her administration.

The overwhelming winner as the most popular of the last five Governors is Jim Hunt, who earned 41%, followed by Jim Martin at 21%. Hunt nearly does the opposite of Easley by being named the most popular in every individual group but Martin edged him out by a narrow margin among Republicans (35-34) and voters from metro Charlotte (33-26).

It's a testament to Hunt's across the board appeal that he came out as the most popular among conservatives, and had steady support in the 42-47% range in every region of the state with the exception of Charlotte.

Jim Holshouser did not register with many respondents as either a favorite or least favorite, probably owing to the fact that most voters in the state either lived elsewhere or are too young to remember his time as Governor.

We will conduct this same poll next month on Senators. A year ago Jesse Helms might have been expected to win both the most popular and least popular honors but John Edwards has perhaps changed that.

Full results here.

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