HPU Poll: Presidential Approval at 34%, Governor Approval at 44% in North Carolina

Sep 27th, 2022

HPU Poll: Presidential Approval at 34%, Governor Approval at 44% in North Carolina

A 66% majority of North Carolinians said the country is off on the wrong track.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 27, 2022 – In a new High Point University Poll, North Carolinians gave President Joe Biden a job approval rating of 34%. More than half (53%) of North Carolina residents said they disapprove of the job President Biden is doing.

These same respondents gave Gov. Roy Cooper a job approval rating of 44%, while 33% said they disapprove and 23% did not offer an opinion either way. When asked about the U.S. Congress, respondents gave a job approval rating of 21%, while 58% said they disapprove and 21% did not offer an opinion either way.

The HPU Poll asked North Carolinians about their approval of how Cooper is handling several different issues. A majority of North Carolina residents (51%) approved of his handling of COVID-19. Less than half of respondents said they approved of his handling of voting rights (49%), highway maintenance and construction (46%), jobs (46%), school safety (44%), voting integrity (44%), transportation in general (43%), civil rights (43%),

law enforcement (43%), education (42%), health care in general (42%), the environment in general (39%), the economy in general (38%), abortion (34%) and taxes (33%). Less than one-third of respondents approved of his handling of climate change (31%), energy prices (30%), gas prices (29%) and inflation (25%).

The HPU Poll also asked North Carolinians about their approval of how the U.S. Congress is handling several different issues. A little more than one-third of North Carolina residents (38%) approved of their handling of COVID-19 and just one-third (33%) of their handling of voter rights. Less than one-third of respondents said they approved of their handling of transportation (32%), the war in Ukraine (31%), voting integrity (30%), civil rights (30%), education (29%), law enforcement (28%), health care in general (28%), school safety (26%) or the environment in general (26%). Only one-quarter or less of respondents approved of the U.S. Congress’ handling of climate change (25%), foreign policy in general (25%), taxes (23%), the economy in general (22%), energy prices (21%), gas prices (19%), abortion (18%) or inflation (16%).

The HPU poll also asked survey respondents if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion on a variety of people and things. Of those, Cooper had the highest favorability rating at 49%. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson only received 19% favorability, however a majority (60%) of North Carolinians said that they are either unsure or not familiar with this person. They were followed by Israel (47%), Donald Trump (43%), the U.S. Supreme Court (41%), Taiwan (39%), Joe Biden (38%), Kamala Harris (36%) and Mike Pence (35%).

Incumbent U.S. Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr had ratings of 28% and 25% respectively, but more than one-third of North Carolina adults were not familiar enough with them or too unsure to give an opinion either way. In regard to Republican and Democratic candidates for Richard Burr’s seat in the U.S. Senate, North Carolinians gave Republican nominee Ted Budd a 29% favorability rating and Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley a 35% favorability rating, but more than one-third of North Carolina adults were not familiar enough with them or too unsure to give an opinion either way.

Among U.S. political institutions that were tested, the U.S. Congress had a favorability rating of 26% and unfavorability rating of 54%. The poll also tested the favorability of Russia and China, which received unfavorable ratings from 75% and 65% of respondents, respectively.

About two-thirds (66%) of North Carolinians said the country is off on the wrong track, while one-quarter (25%) of those same respondents said the country is headed in the right direction. Only 9% did not offer an opinion either way.

“The most recent HPU Poll has been tracking favorability on several political people or things to gain insight on how North Carolinians are feeling,” said Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “While the poll indicates how favorable respondents are feeling these days, it’s also apparent that many are unsure or unfamiliar with several of them.”

HPU Poll Country Direction

NC residents – Country Direction (September 2022)

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

Right direction – 25%

Wrong track – 66%

Unsure – 9%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Presidential Job Approval (September 2022)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Joe Biden is handling his job as president?

Approve – 34%

Disapprove – 53%

Unsure – 13%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

HPU Poll Presidential Approval

NC residents – NC Governor Approval (September 2022)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Roy Cooper is handling his job as Governor of North Carolina?

Approve – 44%

Disapprove –33%

Unsure – 23%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Governor Approval on Issues (September 2022)

Would you say you approve or disapprove of how Governor Cooper is handling each of these issues? [ITEMS PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]

 

Approve Disapprove Unsure
COVID-19 51 34 15
Voting rights 49 28 23
Highway maintenance and construction 46 33 21
Jobs 46 35 19
School safety 44 33 23
Voting integrity 44 32 24
Transportation in general 43 30 27
Civil Rights 43 30 27
Law enforcement 43 36 21
Education 42 39 20
Health care in general 42 35 22
The environment in general 39 33 28
The economy in general 38 43 20
Abortion 34 39 28
Taxes 33 47 21
Climate change 31 35 33
Energy prices 30 47 23
Gas prices 29 53 19
Inflation 25 51 24

 

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – US Congress Approval (September 2022)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?

Approve –21%

Disapprove – 58%

Unsure – 21%

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

NC residents – Congress Approval on Issues (September 2022)

Would you say you approve or disapprove of how the U.S. Congress is handling each of these issues? [ITEMS PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]

 

Approve Disapprove Unsure
COVID-19 38 46 17
Voting rights 33 47 21
Transportation 32 42 26
The war in Ukraine 31 47 23
Voting integrity 30 47 23
Civil Rights 30 48 21
Education 29 53 18
Law enforcement 28 54 18
Health care in general 28 55 17
School safety 26 55 20
The environment in general 26 55 20
Climate change 25 51 24
Foreign policy in general 25 50 25
Taxes 23 61 17
The economy in general 22 63 16
Energy prices 21 60 19
Gas prices 19 67 14
Abortion 18 62 21
Inflation 16 69 16

 (Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

 

 NC residents – Favorability Ratings (September 2022)

Here is a list of people and things. Please indicate whether you have a favorable or unfavorable view of each of them. [ITEMS PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]

Favorable Unfavorable Unsure/Not familiar with this person or thing
Roy Cooper 49 32 20
Israel 47 21 32
Donald Trump 43 48 9
The US Supreme Court 41 41 18
Taiwan 39 19 42
Joe Biden 38 53 9
Kamala Harris 36 50 14
Mike Pence 35 44 21
Cheri Beasley 35 31 34
Ted Budd 29 38 33
Thom Tillis 28 40 33
The U.S. Congress 26 54 20
Richard Burr 25 37 38
Mark Robinson 19 21 60
China 15 65 21
Russia 9 75 16

(Online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Sept. 14 – Sept. 20, 2022, n = 1041 and credibility interval is +/- 3.2%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by the High Point University Survey Research Center on Sept. 14 through Sept. 20, 2022, as an online survey using a panel of respondents recruited and maintained by Dynata. Dynata sent invitations to its panel of NC respondents and the SRC collected responses on its Qualtrics platform. The SRC did all data analysis. The online sample is from a panel of respondents, and their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classic margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.0 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.08 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity and education based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional errors into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. See more information here.

You can follow the HPU Poll Twitter here.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.