With the historic 2016 general elections less than 60 days ahead, polls are showing North Carolina is moving from purple to blue—especially in the gubernatorial race. Most recently, the University of Virginia Center for Politics mved the state from “toss-up” to “leans Democrat.” Other polls, including the Public Policy Poll, report voters favor Attorney General Roy Cooper by 7 percentage points over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory. Most pollsters and media personalities point to HB2, the so-called bathrooms bill, as the turning point. Others suggest that Donald Trump’s embracing of Russian President Vladimir Putin has damaged the GOP brand this year.
The state’s business community was pulled into the HB2 affray when Gov. McCrory reported that the N.C. Chamber had participated in the drafting of the bill. Chamber President Lew Ebert strongly denied the report. The bill included provisions that restricted the rights of employees to sue companies for illegal practices and discrimination.