High Point Poll: North Carolinians share views on NC officials, policy issues and international concerns
Published June 8, 2023
The latest High Point University Poll asked North Carolinians questions on several state, national and global issues.
Job Approval Ratings for NC Governor and Other State Officials
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper received a 49% job approval rating from North Carolinians with 35% disapproving and 15% not offering and opinion either way. U.S. Senators Ted Budd and Thom Tillis had approval ratings of 37% and 35%, respectively, but nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents did not offer an opinion on these leaders.
Many other state government officials in the executive and legislative branches are not as well-known, leading more than a third of North Carolinians to say they were unsure or not familiar with them. Among the North Carolina state leaders, all executive branch officials in the poll received more than one-third job approval from North Carolina residents: NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (37% approve), NC Attorney General Josh Stein (35% approve), NC Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson (34%), NC State Treasurer Dale Folwell (33%).
In the legislative branch, North Carolinians were also asked to assign job approval ratings to NC House Speaker Tim Moore (32% approve), NC Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue (30%), NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (30%) and NC House Minority Leader Robert Reives (29%)
Very Important Issues for the Next NC Governor
In 2024, North Carolina voters will elect their next governor. When asked how important they think it is for the next governor to deal with a list of issues, more than two-thirds said these issues were very important for that governor to handle: school safety (75%), inflation (71%), education (71%), and health care (68%).
More than half of respondents say that these issues were very important for the next governor to deal with: supporting veterans (64%), job creation (61%), law enforcement (61%), taxes (60%), housing prices (58%), opioids like fentanyl (58%), civil rights (57%), voting integrity (57%), guns (57%), immigration (54%), cybersecurity (54%), abortion (53%), and agriculture (51%).
Less than half of North Carolinians say these issues are among the most important for the next governor to deal with: transportation infrastructure (46%), climate change (44%), and rural development (37%).
U.S. Relationship with Russia in a Dangerous World
The poll also asked North Carolinians for their views on a range of foreign policy issues, including Russia’s arrest of Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of North Carolinians say they think the world is becoming more dangerous for the United States and the American people and only 14% say the world is becoming safer.
North Carolina residents see Russia and the United States in a competitive or conflictual relationship with each other. A majority (61%) of North Carolinians see Russia as a United States rival (17%) or adversary (44%).
A majority (55%) of respondents say they had heard a lot or a little about the Russian government arresting Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, and nearly three-quarters (72%) say securing Gershkovich’s release should be an extremely high (20%), very high (28%), or somewhat high (24%) priority for the U.S. government.
NC residents – Job Approval Ratings of North Carolina Officials (May 2023)
Here is a list of elected officials in North Carolina. Please indicate whether you approve or disapprove of how they are doing their job. [Items presented in a random order]
|Approve||Disapprove||Unsure/Not familiar with this person or thing|
|NC Governor Roy Cooper (Democrat)||49||35||15|
|US Senator Ted Budd (Republican)||37||39||24|
|NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (Republican)||37||24||39|
|NC Attorney General Josh Stein (Democrat)||35||31||34|
|US Senator Thom Tillis (Republican)||35||41||24|
|NC Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson (Republican)||34||33||33|
|NC State Treasurer Dale Folwell (Republican)||33||28||38|
|NC House Speaker Tim Moore (Republican)||32||30||37|
|NC Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue (Democrat)||30||30||40|
|NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (Republican)||30||33||37|
|NC House Minority Leader Robert Reives (Democrat)||29||31||40|
NC residents – Issue Importance for Next North Carolina Governor (May 2023)
In 2024, North Carolina voters will elect our next governor. How important do you think it is for the next Governor of North Carolina to deal with each of these issues? Would you say very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important? [Items presented in a random order]
|Very important||Somewhat important||Not very important||Not at all important||Unsure|
|Health care in general||68||22||5||2||4|
|Opioids like Fentanyl||58||22||9||4||6|
NC residents – Safer or More Dangerous World (May 2023)
Thinking about current U.S. relations with the rest of the world, would you say that the world is becoming safer or more dangerous for the U.S. and the American people?
Safer – 14%
More dangerous – 72%
Unsure – 14%
NC residents – US Relationship with Russia (May 2023)
Generally speaking, which of the following descriptions do you feel best reflects the relationship between the United States and Russia?
An ally – a country that shares our interests and values – 5%
A necessary partner – a country we must strategically cooperate with – 19%
A rival – a country with which we need to compete – 17%
An adversary – a country we are in conflict with – 44%
Unsure – 16%
NC residents – How Much Heard about Journalist Evan Gershkovich (May 2023)
How much have you heard about the Russian government arresting Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich?
A lot – 18%
A little – 37%
Nothing at all – 34%
Unsure – 11%
NC residents – Priority of Freeing Evan Gershkovich (May 2023)
How high of a priority should securing the release of Evan Gershkovich be for the United States government?
Extremely high priority – 20%
Very high priority – 28%
Somewhat high priority – 24%
Not very high priority – 6%
Not at all a priority – 3%
Unsure – 20%
HPU Poll 96 was fielded by the High Point University Survey Research Center on May 12 through May 20, 2023, as an online survey using a panel of respondents recruited and maintained by Dynata.
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.