Monday, May 25, 2020


We all know that President Trump has to pick a fight with someone every day or he goes into withdrawal. Today it's the governor of North Carolina.
President Donald Trump on Monday morning threatened to move August’s Republican National Convention out of North Carolina unless there are guarantees the state will let everyone attend.

If you ignore the life-and-death consequences, this seems like a shrewd political move -- Governor Roy Cooper is a Democrat who's up for reelection in a state that leans slightly Republican. Trump won the state by a little less than 4 points in 2016.

But according to a poll released at the beginning of this month, Trump isn't popular in the state, and the governor is -- particularly now.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has an approval rating of 60 percent in a new High Point University poll....

When asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Roy Cooper is handling his job as governor of North Carolina?" 60 percent of adults said they approved, 20 percent said they disapproved and 20 percent said they did not know or refused to answer....

In April of 2019, Cooper had an approval rating of 41 percent among North Carolinians, according to the HPU poll.

The same adults who were asked about Cooper in the survey were also asked if they approved of how President Donald Trump is handling his job as president. Trump's approval rating was 44 percent, 46 percent disapproved and 10 percent did not know or refused to answer.
And in a separate poll released earlier in the month:
Despite three straight weeks of protests against Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order, a huge majority of North Carolinians polled by Meredith College approve of the order....

Over three-quarters of respondents (76.3 percent) support Cooper’s extension of the stay-at-home order until at least May 8 and his decision to close the state’s public schools has an even greater approval rating at 77.8 percent, the poll shows.

Nearly three-quarters of those polled (72.2 percent) said they don’t want public schools reopened this academic year.

A press release from the Meredith Poll says that “a large majority of citizens do not want to quickly return to activities, such as eating at restaurants, going to bars or movie theaters, or even getting a haircut.”
(Phased reopening is taking place in the state now.)

North Carolina is a swing state, but in four polls conducted since the beginning of April, Cooper has led Republican Roy Forest by margins ranging from 14 to 27 points. Trump vs. Biden? It's a tossup -- the Real Clear Politics average has Trump up by just 1.

Keep in mind that North Carolina is one of the 24 U.S. states that still have unchecked virus spread, according to researchers at Imperial College London. A graph of the numbers makes clear that the state hasn't bent the curve.

The number of cases in Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located peaked early, although positive tests are rising again as testing ramps up.

Do politcal conventions even have an effect on the November vote? The 2016 Democratic convention was in Philadelphia -- after which Democrats lost Pennsylvania. Four years early, the Democrats had their convention in Charlotte -- then lost North Carolina, a state they'd won in 2008. The Republican conventions in 2004 and 2008 were in New York City and Minneapolis; Republicans lost both states.

Trump ay think this is a smart fight to pick, but this is really just a standard-issue Trump tantrum. To state the obvious, he wants the adulation of crowds, even if it kills people.

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