A year after his near election as Governor we decided to take a look at what North Carolinians think about Pat McCrory these days and found some good news and some bad news for him.
The bad news:
-A plurality of voters have already forgotten who McCrory is- 45% say they don't know enough about him to have an opinion.
-Only 42% of Republicans have a positive opinion of him, perhaps lower than you might expect a year after he was the party's standard bearer. At the same time there aren't many- just 19%- who dislike him either.
-He shows his lowest favorability numbers in eastern North Carolina where Bev Perdue effectively made him look like an out of touch city slicker last year, helping her to win in many counties where Barack Obama did not have very much success.
The good news:
-More voters have a favorable (32%) than unfavorable (23%) opinion of him, something that neither the Governor or the state's two Senators could claim on our most recent survey.
-His favorability number is five points higher than Perdue's 27% approval rating.
-Where voters know him best- metro Charlotte- he continues to be incredibly popular with a 56/23 favorability ratio.
What does it all mean?
If McCrory's next move is for a Congressional seat- either Sue Myrick's if she retires soon or Larry Kissell's depending on what the lines look like after redistricting- he's in a very solid position. His continued high level of popularity in metro Charlotte would make him hard to beat in a district that focused on Mecklenburg and some portions of Gaston and/or Union and/or Cabarrus Counties. If Republicans get control of redistricting they could probably redraw the Charlotte area districts to get Kissell out (if he even gets reelected next year) and McCrory in.
It's a little murkier in terms of a future Gubernatorial run. A 42% favorability rating with GOP voters would certainly start him out in a better position than any other potential 2012 Republican hopeful but the numbers don't exactly scream invincibility. McCrory would likely want the primary field cleared for him if he was going to take another shot at Governor. Still a 40/18 favorability ratio with independents is impressive, and 21% of Democrats holding a positive opinion of him isn't bad either. It seems likely that if Perdue's numbers remain where they are McCrory would start out the favorite against her in a 2012 rematch.
Full results here