North Carolina

Trump’s support is wavering in North Carolina, poll shows. Are Republicans to blame?

The approval rating for President Donald Trump in North Carolina dropped below 40% amid a growing impeachment inquiry and questions about whether he tried to use international aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, according to a new poll.

The latest poll from Meredith College in Raleigh shows that 39.9% of North Carolina voters think Trump is doing a good job. That’s a drop from his 44% approval rating in 2018 and last spring.

So why the change? More Republican voters are moving away from Trump, according to the poll.

Nearly three-quarters of Republicans said they approve of the job Trump is doing, the poll shows. But that compares to previous approval ratings among Republicans in the “mid-to-upper 80s.”

“The most significant factor affecting President Trump’s decline in job approval ratings among North Carolinians is his loss of Republican support,” Meredith Poll Director David McLennan said in a statement releasing the results.

“The turmoil surrounding the Ukrainian call and move by Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi to start an impeachment inquiry has eroded his support among Republicans,” McLennan said.

Meanwhile, 11.3% of Democrats said they approve of Trump, while 33.4% of self-described independents approve of him, according to the poll.

Despite lower approval numbers, the poll found Trump ahead of possible Democratic nominees for next year’s election.

“President Trump’s potential support in the 2020 election essentially mirrors his approval rating in the state. The problem for Democrats in the state is that voters are not excited about their potential nominees and no one runs particularly well against the president at over a year before the election,” McLennan said.

The poll did not find a majority in North Carolina on the question of impeachment. According to the poll, 48.2% of voters “say that his actions justify an impeachment inquiry, while 41% state his actions do not.”

Not surprisingly, those numbers split along party lines. More than 81% of Democrats are in favor of an impeachment inquiry, according to the poll, while fewer than 14% of Republicans are in favor. About 51% of self-identified independents favor an inquiry, the poll shows.

A separate poll released last week found North Carolinia voters evenly divided on whether the president should be impeached, according to Public Policy Polling. The poll found 48% supported impeachment and 48% opposed.

A third poll, from East Carolina University, found half of voters in North Carolina oppose impeachment while 44% support it.

“However, only 44% of registered voters in North Carolina think that Trump should be re-elected compared to 51% who think it is time for someone else to be president,” according to the ECU poll.

The Meredith College poll and the ECU poll both have a 3% margin of error. The PPP poll has a 3.2% margin of error.

Gov. Roy Cooper fared better in the Meredith poll, with a 48.6% approval rating.

“The governor’s approval ratings have not suffered, despite protracted fights with the Republican leadership in the General Assembly,” McLennan said. “The governor has benefited from how he handled the preparation for and aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and Democrats appear to be supportive of his fight for Medicaid expansion and his veto of the state budget.”

Related stories from Charlotte Observer