HPU Poll: Presidential Approval at 34%, Governor Approval at 43% in North Carolina

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 9, 2021 – In a new High Point University Poll, North Carolinians gave President Joe Biden a job approval rating of 34%. A little more than one-half (55%) of North Carolina residents said they disapprove of the job President Biden is doing. 

These same respondents gave Gov. Roy Cooper a job approval rating of 43%, while 38% said they disapprove and 19% did not offer an opinion either way.     

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of North Carolinians said the country is off on the wrong track. Approximately one-quarter (25%) of those same residents said the country is headed in the right direction.

On specific issues, North Carolinians expressed some differing opinions about Gov. Cooper’s performance. Of the issues surveyed, the highest percentage of respondents (46%) approved of his handling of COVID-19, while the lowest percentage of North Carolinians approved of the governor’s handling of the state budget (32%). Concerning other issues, 38% approved of the governor’s handling of health care. A similar 38% approved of his handling of the North Carolina economy, and 39% approved of his handling of the issue of education. 

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NC residents - Country Direction (October/November 2021)

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

Right direction – 25%

Wrong track – 64%

Don’t know/refused – 10%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Oct. 22 – Nov. 4, n = 968 and credibility interval is +/- 3.3%)

NC residents - Presidential Job Approval (October/November 2021)

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

Approve – 34%

Disapprove – 55%

Don’t know/refused – 11%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Oct. 22 – Nov. 4, n = 968 and credibility interval is +/- 3.3%)

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NC residents - NC Governor Approval (September 2021)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Roy Cooper is handling his job as Governor of North Carolina?

Approve – 43%

Disapprove – 38%

Don’t know/refused – 19%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Oct. 22 – Nov. 4, n = 968 and credibility interval is +/- 3.3%)

NC Resident – Governor Approval on Selected Issues (October/November 2021)

On each of these issues, would you say you approve or disapprove of how Roy Cooper is handling them? [ISSUES PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER]




Don’t know/Refuse





Health care




The North Carolina economy








The state budget




(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Oct. 22 – Nov. 4, n = 968 and credibility interval is +/- 3.3%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Oct. 22 through Nov. 4, 2021, and an online survey was fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 968 adults interviewed online (808 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (160 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using the SRC’s Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so 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 3.3 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 1.1 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted 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. Details from this survey are available here.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at https://www.highpoint.edu/src/. 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. For more information, click here.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

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.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,850 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2022 edition of “The Best 387 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was also recognized as a Great School for Business/Finance Majors, a Great School for Communication Majors and Great Dorms. For 11 years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for career development, business and education programs. The university has 62 undergraduate majors, 64 undergraduate minors and 14 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the web at highpoint.edu.

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