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HPU Poll: Nearly Half of North Carolinians Give Governor a Positive Approval Rating

Jan 25th, 2023

HPU Poll: Nearly Half of North Carolinians Give Governor a Positive Approval Rating

HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 25, 2023 – In a new High Point University Poll, North Carolinians gave Gov. Roy Cooper a job approval rating of 48%, while 30% said they disapprove and 22% did not offer an opinion either way.

These same respondents gave President Joe Biden a job approval rating of 32%. More than half (55%) of North Carolina residents said they disapprove of the job he is doing.

The poll also listed issues that President Biden has to deal with. Of those issues, more than one-third approved of his handling of COVID-19 (42%), education (40%), voting integrity (38%), civil rights (37%), protecting democracy (35%), climate change (33%), law enforcement (33%) and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan (33%). President Biden received less than one-third of respondents’ approval on his handling of the war in Ukraine (31%), school safety (31%), abortion (29%) and taxes (27%). He received even less approval on his handling of gas prices (25%), securing the U.S. southern border (25%), inflation (20%), handling of classified documents (20%) and his son Hunter Biden’s work (16%).

HPU Poll Country Direction

More than two-thirds (68%) of North Carolinians said the country is on the wrong track, while one in five (20%) of those same respondents said the country is headed in the right direction. Only 12% did not offer an opinion either way.

When asked about how things were going in the U.S. Congress, only about one out of four (23%) North Carolinians said they approved of the job Congress is doing. A majority (50%) said they disapproved of how Congress is doing its job. More than one-quarter (27%) did not offer an opinion.

“The most recent HPU Poll has given insight to how North Carolinians are feeling about President Biden and his handling of several issues,” said Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll. “Poll respondents are happier with his handling of issues like COVID-19 and education but feel he could be doing better at handling taxes, gas prices, securing the U.S. southern border and inflation.”


NC residents – Country Direction (January 2023)

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

Right direction – 20%

Wrong track – 68%

Unsure – 12%

HPU Poll Presidential Approval of 32%, disapprove of 55%

NC residents – Presidential Approval (January 2023)

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

Approve 32%

Disapprove – 55%

Unsure – 13%


NC residents – Governor Approval (January 2023)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Roy Cooper is handling his job as governor?

Approve 48%

Disapprove 30%

Unsure – 22%


NC residents – Approval of the U.S. Congress (January 2023)

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

Approve – 23%

Disapprove – 50%

Unsure – 27%


NC residents – President Dealing with Issues (January 2023)

Below is a list of issues that President Biden has to deal with. For each issue, please tell me whether you [approve or disapprove] of President Biden’s handling of each issue. [Items presented in a random order]
Approve Disapprove Unsure
COVID-19 42 45 14
Education 40 43 17
Voting integrity 38 42 20
Civil rights 37 43 19
Protecting democracy 35 47 18
Climate change 33 45 22
Law enforcement 33 51 17
U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan 33 47 20
The war in Ukraine 31 52 18
School safety 31 50 19
Abortion 29 52 19
Taxes 27 57 16
Gas prices 25 66 9
Securing the U.S. southern border 25 54 21
Inflation 20 68 13
Handling of classified documents 20 57 23
His son Hunter Biden’s work 16 52 32


The most recent HPU Poll of 1,006 respondents was fielded by the High Point University Survey Research Center on Jan. 17 through Jan. 21, as an online survey using a panel of respondents recruited and maintained by Dynata. Dynata sent invitations to its panel of N.C. 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 3.3 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.1 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.1 (based on the weighting). The data is weighed 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 surveys 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.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter.

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.