When the North Carolina men's basketball team takes on Duke in two weeks, 41 percent of North Carolinians will be cheering for UNC and 31 percent for Duke, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh.
The poll, published Tuesday, found Hillary Clinton voters prefer the Tar Heels 47 to 25, while President Donald Trump voters prefer the Blue Devils 38 to 35.
The poll surveyed over 800 registered voters from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21.
With midterm elections this fall, the poll found Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot 46 to 41. Democrats also had the edge when it came to voters who were "very excited" about voting in this year's election — which could be a low turnout event with no Senate or gubernatorial race on the ballot.
“With new maps, a popular governor, and the energy of the voters on their side, Democrats are almost certain to make gains in the legislature this year,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, in a press release. “The question is just how wide ranging the gains will be.”
The poll suggested the Democrats' strong position could be a result of North Carolinians being happy with their Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, and unhappy with their Republican president, Trump. Forty-nine percent of voters approve of Cooper, while 33 percent disapprove. This time last year, only 45 percent of voters approved of Cooper, while 34 percent disapproved.
Cooper fared better than his predecessors in the poll. In his first year of office, former governor Pat McCrory had a 37 percent approval rating and 47 percent disapproval rating. Former governor Bev Perdue had a 30 percent approval rating and 48 percent disapproval rating in January 2010.
As for the N.C. General Assembly, only 19 percent of voters approve of the job its doing, while 51 percent disapprove. Democratic legislators weren't too popular: 39 percent approved of the job they're doing, while 45 percent disapproved. Democratic legislators, however, fared better than Republicans who had a 35 percent approval rating and 51 percent disapproval rating.
While redistricting plans are still being debated, 59 percent of voters supported nonpartisan redistricting with independents.
President Trump's first year ended Saturday. Forty-two percent of North Carolinian voters approved of the job Trump is doing, while 50 percent disapproved. When it came to the government shutdown, voters blamed Trump and the Republicans in Congress more than the Democrats 48 percent to 43 percent.
Sixty-four percent of North Carolina voters supported Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and 25 percent opposed it. Eighty-two percent of Democrats, 61 percent of Independents and 43 percent of Republicans approved of DACA.
Public Policy Polling is a North Carolina, left-leaning polling firm created to measure and track public opinion. It has conducted surveys for politicians and political organizations, unions, consultants and businesses since 2001.
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