Gov. Pat McCrory’s approval numbers stand at 46 percent, a nice improvement from the 42 percent of North Carolinians who told us in February that they liked how he was doing his job.
There are several ways to look at it. Here are three, from the positive to the less than positive.
* As more people get a look at his leadership, they like what they see. Much of McCrory’s improvement over February’s number is thanks to respondents who moved from the “don’t know” column to the “approve” column.
* The controversial bills being introduced by Republicans in the General Assembly aren’t hurting him. He is getting the benefit of any doubt.
* Just last November, he won the election with 54.7 percent of the vote.
Digging deeper into the numbers:
* Party: He’s divisive, but not as divisive as President Obama or the General Assembly. Approval by party shows 66 percent of Republicans; 49 percent of Independents; 31 percent of Democrats.
* Age: Approval is decent across all age groups, from 48 percent from the 18-30-year olds to 44 percent from the 65 and up.
* Race: Whites approve of his performance, 49 percent. African Americans are at 40 percent.
* Gender: Men approve, 50 percent; women, 42 percent.
In short, the jury is still out on McCrory, which is neither good nor bad. Two major actions will define his first year: his budget and his actions on the legislation working its way through the General Assembly.
He has smartly sidestepped some of the goofier ideas coming from legislators. He told WRAL that he plans to focus on the economy, education and efficiency, which also will play well with the public. Assuming he has success in those areas, his numbers will continue to rise.
— John Robinson