Despite a spate of high profile scandals involving state troopers North Carolina voters still have a very high opinion of them. 67% see them favorably to 16% unfavorably and with 17% having no opinion. Clearly a few bad apples have not hurt the overall positive impression North Carolinians have of folks who work for the Highway Patrol.
There isn't a real strong partisan divide in how opinions about the troopers break down- 75% of Republicans, 65% of independents, and 61% of Democrats continue to see them in a positive light.
Also getting some good polling news this month is the Governor who's been very critical of the Highway Patrol in light of the recent events. Bev Perdue's approval rating is now up to 33%, with 47% of voters disapproving of her. That 33% mark is the highest Perdue's seen since May of 2009 when she stood at 34%. It's certainly not impressive and she has a long way to go but Perdue was as low as 24% last October and she's made a good bit of progress since then.
Perhaps most encouraging for Perdue is that her approval rating within her own party is up to 53%. Perdue continues to be very unpopular with independents (22% approval) and Republicans (14% approval) but neither of those things are all that different from what Governors across the country are facing right now. What had made Perdue's numbers particularly bad was a lack of support from Democrats and while she'd be in much better shape if she could get that number up over the 70% mark she's still come a long way since she was in the 30s for a lot of 2010.
One thing that's been true in Perdue's numbers for a long time now is that she does better in the places where she gets more visibility. She's now on positive ground in the Triangle where 46% of voters like the job she's doing to 38% who disapprove. Part of that is because it's the most Democratic region in the state but that doesn't change the fact that her approval has moved a net 28 points in the right direction there since she stood at 30/50 a year ago this month.
In July of 2009 Perdue's approval was a net -30 at 25/55. She's improved that 16 points now to -14 at 33/47. The progress has been slow but relatively steady and if she can continue it over the next year she'll get back to the break even point. Perdue's unlikely to be easily reelected like her two Democratic predecessors but at the rate she's going it would be a mistake to write her off for dead either. McCrory/Perdue round 2 could be a spirited, closely contested race just like the first one.
Full results here