Coach K for governor?

On Sunday, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Rob Christensen contemplated the impact that some boobirds in the Dean Dome may have had in re-shaping the race for North Carolina governor.

Christensen wondered if the somewhat hostile reception that incumbent Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue received at a UNC basketball game last month may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” in Perdue’s decision to bow out of her re-election bid.

Now, as the Blue Devils and Tar Heels prepare to battle on the hardwood Wednesday night, and with the race for the Executive Mansion still up in the air, Public Policy Polling asks voters which current coach in the legendary rivalry would make the betterĀ  governor.

The result: Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski edges out Carolina’s Roy Williams as the pick for chief executive, 34-31 percent. Coach K’s advantage comes in his relatively high crossover appeal with Tar Heel Republicans, who favor Williams by just 3 percent. Meanwhile, Blue Devil Democrats pick Krzyzewski over Williams by 15 percent.

Both coaches enjoy high favorability ratings, with 51 percent of voters overall thinking well of each man. Even among Duke fans, more see Williams favorably — 48 percent — than unfavorably — 13 percent. Krzyzewski receives similar respect from the Tar Heel faithful, with 46 percent viewing him favorably and 27 percent unfavorably.

While the numbers seem to bode well for any political aspirations Williams or Krzyzewski might harbor, both coaches would probably much prefer dealing with the verbal abuse of opposing fans and the frustration of blown calls by refs than having to tangle with a tough economy and an obstinate legislature.

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