Nearly half of all North Carolinians approve of the Governor

Published March 9, 2023

By High Point University Poll

In a new High Point University Poll, North Carolinians gave Gov. Roy Cooper a job approval rating of 47%, while 30% said they disapprove and 23% did not offer an opinion either way.

These same respondents gave President Joe Biden a job approval rating of 34%. More than half (52%) of North Carolina residents said they disapprove of the job President Biden is doing.

About two-thirds (65%) of North Carolinians said the country is on the wrong track, while one-quarter (24%) of those same respondents said the country is headed in the right direction. Only 11% did not offer an opinion either way.

HPU Poll Country Direction

When asked about how things were going in the U.S. Congress, one-quarter (25%) of North Carolinians said they approved of the job Congress is doing. A majority (52%) said they disapproved of how Congress is doing its job.

The poll also asked North Carolinians whether they have favorable or unfavorable views about a list of people or things. Of those people or things, more than one-third of respondents had a favorable view of Roy Cooper (46%), Donald Trump (41%), the North Carolina Supreme Court (40%), the United States Supreme Court, (39%), the North Carolina General Assembly (39%) and Joe Biden (35%).

Declared and potential candidates in the 2024 presidential race Ron DeSantis (33%), Mike Pence (33%), and Nikki Haley (30%) had somewhat lower favorability ratings.

Republican Congressional Leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy received favorability ratings of 22% and 28%, respectively, while the United States Congress as a whole was viewed favorably by 27% of North Carolinians.

There were a few cases in which a majority of poll respondents were unsure about or not familiar with the person. North Carolinians weren’t sure or were unfamiliar with these possible 2024 presidential candidates like Tim Scott (55%), Greg Abbott (55%) and Chris Sununu (65%).

North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson (57%, unsure or not familiar) and Attorney General Josh Stein (58%) were in a similar situation of relatively low name recognition among the survey respondents.

The poll asked about views of two countries, Russia and China. Russia had a favorability rating of just 9% with more than three-quarters (76%) of North Carolinians viewing it unfavorably. China had a favorability rating of 13% with more than two-thirds (71%) of North Carolinians viewing it unfavorably.

“The most recent HPU Poll has given insight to how favorable North Carolinians view several people or things,” said Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll. “Poll respondents had the most favorable view of Governor Cooper and the most unfavorable views of Russia and China.”

HPU Poll Governor Approval

NC residents – Country Direction (March 2023)

Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction] or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off track]?

Right direction – 24%

Wrong track – 65%

Unsure – 11%


NC residents – Presidential Approval (March 2023)

Do you [approve or disapprove] of the way that Joe Biden is handling his job as president?

Approve 34%

Disapprove – 52%

Unsure – 14%


HPU Poll Presidential Approval

NC residents – Governor Approval (March 2023)

Do you [approve or disapprove] of the way that Roy Cooper is handling his job as Governor?

Approve 47%

Disapprove 30%

Unsure – 23%


NC residents – Approval of the U.S. Congress (March 2023)

Do you [approve or disapprove] of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?

Approve – 25%

Disapprove – 52%

Unsure – 23%


NC residents – Favorability (March 2023)

Here is a list of people and things. Please indicate whether you have [a favorable or an unfavorable] view of each of them. [Items presented in a random order]
  Favorable Unfavorable Unsure/Not familiar with this person or thing
Roy Cooper 46 34 19
Donald Trump 41 51 8
The North Carolina Supreme Court 40 26 34
The U.S. Supreme Court 39 42 20
North Carolina General Assembly 39 27 35
Joe Biden 35 54 11
Ron DeSantis 33 36 31
Mike Pence 33 46 21
Nikki Haley 30 29 41
Kevin McCarthy 28 35 37
The U.S. Congress 27 52 21
Tim Scott 22 23 55
Mark Robinson 22 21 57
Mitch McConnell 22 49 29
Greg Abbott 19 27 55
Josh Stein 19 23 58
Chris Sununu 15 20 65
China 12 71 18
Russia 9 76 15


The most recent HPU Poll of 1,010 respondents was fielded by the High Point University Survey Research Center on Feb. 27 through March 4, as an online survey using a panel of respondents recruited and maintained by Dynata. Dynata sent invitations to its panel of N.C. respondents and the SRC collected responses on its Qualtrics platform. The SRC did all data analysis. The online sample is from a panel of respondents, and their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classic margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.1 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.2 (based on the weighting). The data is weighed toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity and education based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional errors into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past surveys can be found at the Survey Research Center website. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter.

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.