UPDATED: Pat McCrory's camp released internal poll numbers Wednesday showing his job approval rating at 48 percent -- a move designed to counter a different poll that shows the governor's stock declining.
The poll commissioned by Renew North Carolina Foundation, a private nonprofit extended from McCrory's 2012 campaign, gives the Republican governor a 26-point positive approval margin, with just 22 percent disapproving. His favorability rating is essentially the same at 49 favorable to 22 percent unfavorable, according to a portion of the poll released first to Dome. Another 29 percent were unsure. The margin of error for the poll is plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.
Earlier Wednesday, a new survey from Public Policy Polling showed McCrory's job approval rating at 39 percent with 51 percent disapproving -- his lowest numbers of his term and part of a sustained decline since he took office at the start of the year. The margin of error is 4 percent.
The poll asked the same question but the different numbers are likely attributed to methodology. McCrory's camp polled likely voters and PPP surveyed registered voters.
Renew North Carolina used the Republican firm TelOpinion Research, the McCrory campaign's pollster, to conduct its poll, which called 800 likely North Carolina voters Aug. 8-12. As a benchmark, Renew North Carolina released President Barack Obama's approval rating (split 48-48) and favorability (48-41). A spokesman read the questions over the phone but declined to release the entire poll.
The Raleigh-based PPP polled 600 registered North Carolina voters Aug. 8-11 through an automated, or robo-call, system. The Democratic firm -- often a target of ire for McCrory during the campaign -- polls North Carolina every month and received widespread accolades for its accurate polling in the 2012 elections. It shows Obama's job approval at 46-51.
The release of an internal poll is rare and a first for the nonprofit. Renew North Carolina is run by former McCrory campaign strategists and charges $25,000 to $50,000 a year for memberships with promises of exclusive access to the governor. The organization's membership is dominated by corporate money and big-named Republicans and it does not disclose its donors, attracting significant criticism.
The nonprofit recently hired Brian Nick, McCrory's former campaign spokesman, as its communications chief. Nick recently left his position at Moore and Van Allen, a law firm that formerly employed McCrory, to rejoin the political consulting firm Strategic Perception. His move is a sign McCrory's camp believes it needs to improve its message and begin to counter rising opposition from Democrats and advocacy groups critical of the governor's agenda.