Polling PPP released yesterday showed that North Carolinians are generally leaning toward supporting Republicans for the Legislature this year. One thing that has to be helping GOP prospects is the unpopularity of the state's current elected Democrats.
Barack Obama, Bev Perdue, and Kay Hagan are each at 50% disapproval or higher with likely voters for the election in North Carolina this fall. Obama's approval spread is 43/54, Perdue's is 30/52, and Hagan's is 35/50.
How people are planning to vote this fall in the state is highly correlated with how they feel about Obama. Folks who like the President are planning to vote Democratic by an 86-5 margin but those who do not like Obama are going toward the Republicans 85-5. With a majority in the state unhappy with Obama that's a big problem for Democrats and it's a change from past election cycles where the party held on at the state level because folks separated out their feelings about national Democrats from North Carolina Democrats.
Most notably Obama, Perdue, and Hagan all face at least 2:1 disapproval from independents. For Obama it's 32/64, for Perdue it's 21/57, and for Hagan it's 20/62. Against that backdrop it's not surprising independents aren't inclined to put any more Democrats in office and that's reflected in the large leads Richard Burr and Republican candidates on the generic ballot have with that group.
Democrats would probably be well advised to keep these folks off the campaign trail in the state this fall, as each of them is much more of a turnoff to Republicans than a positive with Democrats. 89% of Republicans disapprove of Obama to 78% of Democrats approving, for Perdue those numbers are 74% and 51%, and for Hagan those numbers are 79% and 62%.
It's just another thing Democrats will have to overcome this year as they try to maintain Legislative control and pick up a Senate seat.
Full results here