Politics & Government

Voters down on HB2; Democrats Cooper and Stein lead in new poll

North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper and Republican incumbent Pat McCrory.
North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper and Republican incumbent Pat McCrory. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

A new polling firm called RABA Research (RABA for Red America, Blue America) finds that half of North Carolina voters disapprove of the new law commonly known as House Bill 2.

The poll also has Attorney General Roy Cooper and former state Sen. Josh Stein, both Democrats, leading in their races for governor and attorney general.

HB2 changed state law and municipal ordinances in a number of ways, but the focus has been on the part of the law requiring that transgender people use the public bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate, which nullifies a Charlotte ordinance.

The poll asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of HB2 — the state’s new anti-transgender law?” Half disapproved, 35 percent approved and 16 percent weren’t sure.

Forty-nine percent disapproved of the way Republican Gov. Pat McCrory handled HB2, 36 percent approved and 15 percent were not sure.

On a question about repealing HB2, 48 percent supported repeal, 34 percent didn’t, and 18 percent weren’t sure.

The poll had Cooper leading McCrory 41 percent to 36 percent in the governor’s race. Libertarian Lon Cecil had 6 percent support, and 17 percent weren’t sure.

Stein leads Republican Sen. Buck Newton in the race for state attorney general, 40 percent to 33 percent, with 27 percent not sure.

The poll of 688 registered voters was conducted April 27-28, and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

RABA was founded by Democrats and Republicans. Its principals are based in New York, Iowa and Washington, D.C.

A recent Civitas poll produced different results on HB2, but its question was much different. Sixty-one percent in the Civitas poll agreed that the Charlotte ordinance “creates a loophole that gives sexual predators access to women’s locker rooms and bathrooms, and women and girls feel unsafe and uncomfortable being forced to share the women’s bathroom with a biological man who may or may not identify as female.”

Civitas did also have Cooper and Stein ahead.

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