Republican gubernatorial nominee Pat McCrory leads his Democratic opponent Walter Dalton 46-40 percent as their general election campaigns get underway, according to a new post-primary survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP).
A former Charlotte mayor, McCrory enjoys the support of 84 percent of Republicans and leads Dalton among independent voters, 52-29 percent.
McCrory proves to be popular among North Carolina voters, with 41 percent of those surveyed holding a positive opinion of him and 28 percent having an unfavorable impression. The state’s current lieutenant governor, Dalton’s favorability rating has climbed 12 percent since his campaign for governor kicked off at the start of the year.
McCrory’s 6-point lead is down from the 15-percent advantage he had over Dalton in a January poll from PPP, pointing to the Democrat’s momentum as he emerges from a closely contested primary against former congressman Bob Etheridge.
“Dalton is underperforming right now with key Democratic constituencies like African Americans and young voters, but history suggests those people will end up breaking in his direction and if they do it will be a very close race,” Tom Jensen of PPP wrote in his analysis of the poll. “He has more room for growth than McCrory does.”
The PPP numbers come as the Dalton and McCrory camps spar over the planning of debates and the Republican Governors Association launches an attack ad attempting to tie Dalton to outgoing Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.