Although they represent different parties, Gov. Pat McCrory and President Obama share the same plight: plunging approval ratings.
Gov. McCrory’s have dropped 7 percentage points since February, when he had been in office for about a month. Now, eight months, a General Assembly session and two vetoes later, his approval rating is at 36 percent. Disapproval: 46 percent.
Digging into the numbers:
Political party: A huge difference. 58 percent of Republicans think he’s doing a good job vs. 18 percent of Democrats. And the dropoff by Democrats has been steep. Last April, 31 percent of Democrats liked his performance (Republicans: 66 percent.)
Gender: 41 percent of men approve vs. 32 percent of women.
Race: 42 percent of whites approve vs. 22 percent of blacks. The dropoff in support among African Americans in the last five months was distinct, too. Last April, he had the support of 49 percent of whites and 40 percent of blacks.
It’s not surprising. The General Assembly passed some dramatic legislation pertaining to abortion, gun control and voting, among other things, and McCrory signed them. He vetoed two bills, which the legislature promptly overturned. Protests began on Mondays at the capital, and attendance grew in number each week, reaching several thousand people.
Meanwhile, McCrory made some public relations missteps, notably saying he mingled with the protesters regularly when he didn’t, and endorsing the high salaries given to political appointees with little experience.
For his part, Gov. McCrory isn’t giving ground. He often spoken on taking the long view and needing to step on toes to get things done. He can afford it, too, because he’s not up for re-election for three years, and he doesn’t need to work with the General Assembly for another year.
— John Robinson