Cooper or McCrory? Polls split on NC governor's race

NC Governor Pat McCrory and NC Attorney General Roy Cooper. (official photos)

A new poll done by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Roy Cooper has emerged as the "clear leader" in the race to be North Carolina's next governor.

The poll shows Roy Cooper at 46 percent compared to Gov. Pat McCrory's 41 percent. Libertarian Lon Cecil holds 2 percent. PPP said Cooper's lead was above the poll's 3.1 percent margin of error.

READ FULL RESULTS HERE (.pdf)

A poll from Elon University Monday showed McCrory with a three-point lead over Cooper - within the poll's 3.8 percent margin of error.

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A third poll last week from right-leaning Civitas gives McCrory gave McCrory a two-point lead - within the poll's 4 percent margin of error.

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In the PPP poll, when undecided voters and Cecil supporters were asked who they'd pick between Cooper and McCrory, though, Cooper's lead ticked up to 50/43.

PPP's poll shows McCrory continues to be unpopular among those surveyed; 41 percent of voters approve of him and 49 percent disapprove. PPP found McCrory's approval rating under 50 percent for the last 39 months in a row.

Voters tend to react more positively to Cooper, PPP's poll shows. Forty percent of those surveyed view him positively to 32 percent who have a negative opinion.

Cooper's strength in this race is his popularity with independent voters. House Bill 2 is giving McCrory trouble, which could account for the steady decline in approval rating. Only 39 percent of voters approve of how he's handled the issue.

By a 20 point margin, voters want to see HB2 repealed. Only 32 percent support keeping it, versus 52 percent who think it should be overturned.

Presidential candidates are in a dead-heat in the Tar Heel state. Donald Trump leads the state with 45 percent to Hillary Clinton's 43 percent. Six percent are with Gary Johnson. When Johnson voters and undecideds were asked who they would pick between Clinton and Trump, the contest moves to a tie at 47 percent.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,024 likely voters from September 18th to 20th. 80 percent of participants, selected through a list based sample, responded via the phone, while 20 percent of respondents who did not have landlines conducted the survey over the internet through an opt-in internet panel.

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