North Carolina voters are continuing to lean slightly toward the GOP for this year's elections, with the party leading 44-41 on the generic ballot for both Congress and the legislature this month.
Republican gains in North Carolina are likely this year but the party shouldn't take it as too much of a mandate. The same poll found that only 32% of North Carolinians have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party with 48% viewing it negatively. That makes the GOP roughly as popular as Bev Perdue with the state's voters.
The Democratic Party is actually slightly more popular, with 38% of voters viewing it favorably to 51% with a negative view. The Republicans are winning right now though because people who don't like either party say they'll vote for the GOP by a margin of 24-26 points. That's indicative of a 'throw out the bums' mentality- when you don't like either party you'll vote for the one out of power.
The dim view North Carolinians have of both parties means this fall's elections will be more about repudiation than mandates- the results may reflect which party voters dislike the most to a greater extent than the one they like the most.