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Elon poll: McCrory up, HB2 unpopular

A new Elon University poll out on Monday shows incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory with a three-point lead over Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper.

The poll also shows nearly half of those surveyed oppose House Bill 2, which blocked expanded protections in public accommodations for gay and transgender people.

McCrory’s 49-46 percent split is a significant change from Elon’s previous poll in the spring, which put Cooper ahead by 6 points. It is within the margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

The average of the seven most recent polls puts Cooper 3.9 percentage points ahead of McCrory.

The new poll was conducted last week amid a widespread news coverage of the HB2 controversy when the NCAA and ACC withdrew championship games from North Carolina in protest of the state’s non-discrimination laws.

The poll found 49.5 percent oppose HB2 and 39.5 percent support it. It also found 36.2 percent of those surveyed said they were less likely to re-elect McCrory, 34.6 percent said it didn’t make a difference, and 26.9 percent said they were more likely to vote for him.

Nearly 60 percent said HB2 has damaged the state’s reputation.

Elon University’s polling program contacted 799 registered voters by land line and cell phone; 644 of those said they are likely to vote in November.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO