North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory is definitely not the sharpest tool in the box, costing taxpayers millions of dollars for an anti-LGBT crusade during the year of his re-election battle.
North Carolina has lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
McCrory has continued to insist the rules are “common sense”, but a string of major employers are boycotting the state over the attack on the rights of their LGBT employees.
A projected cost of the battle so far, totting up the economic losses and legal costs, reaches a mind-blowing $395 million.
And it turns out that heavy cost – the equivalent of $40 for every man woman and child in the state, is not sitting well with voters, as McCrory trails his Democratic opponent, the state’s Attorney General Roy Cooper.
A Public Policy Polling report found that ahead of his re-election battle this November, McCrory is currently on 41 points to Cooper’s 46.
Nearly half of voters rate McCrory negatively, with 49% disapproving of his handling of HB 2. 41% of voters say they are less likely to vote for McCrory thanks to the furore.
McCrory and Cooper’s opposing views on HB 2 are central to debate, with the PPP showing that opposition to the law remains overwhelming.
Just 21% of voters believed the law had had a positive impact on the state’s reputation, compared to 53% who think the law has hurt the state’s standing.
Voters also overwhelmingly agree that the state is losing out economically thanks to the law, and are not convinced that it is keeping anyone safe.
There is also anger at the extreme cost of the law, with Republicans draining money from the Disaster Relief Fund for the HB 2 battle.
PPP found that just 18% of people support funding legal defences for HB 2 and similar legislation, compared to 56% who consider it a waste of money.
Of course, as the election coincides with the Presidential race, McCrory might be able to enjoy a boost from a popular Presidential pick… but Donald Trump is tied with Hillary Clinton in the usually Republican-dominated state.