Source: The New York Times

The New York Times recently profiled Governor Cooper’s steady response to the coronavirus pandemic in North Carolina and how that response could help him win again in November.

Governor Cooper has gained widespread support for his early and decisive leadership. The Times writes, “As governors nationwide see their favorability rise for taking charge in a time of crisis, those facing voters in November may benefit beyond the usual blessings of incumbency.”

Support for leaders like Governor Cooper has grown during the pandemic and from both sides of the aisle. President Trump won North Carolina by a narrow margin in 2016, “but even people who want to re-elect Mr. Trump praised Mr. Cooper’s stay-at-home order of March 27, which at the time was only the second by a Southern governor,” according to the Times.

Matthew Greene, a small-business owner in Winston-Salem who voted for President Trump in 2016 and plans to again this fall, told the Times that the governor is “doing everything in his power to keep everyone safe as possible.” Melissa Spurling, another pro-Trump North Carolinian interviewed by the Times, also had praise for Governor Cooper’s response.

The Times also reported that Governor Cooper enjoyed at least a 10 point bump in his approval rating, climbing into the mid-50s, “which counts as a healthy advantage in a state split down the middle politically.”

With regard to Governor Cooper’s opponent, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, voters were not impressed. Ms. Spurling said she is open to voting for Governor Cooper. With respect to Lt. Governor Forest, “I haven’t heard anything positive about him,” Ms. Spurling told the Times.

In early February, Governor Cooper created the Novel Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate efforts in anticipation of a pandemic. By March 10, Cooper declared a state of emergency, and four days later banned mass gatherings of more than 100 and closed public schools. On March 17, he ordered restaurants and bars to move to delivery and take-out options only. By the end of March, Cooper implemented a statewide Stay At Home order and issued an executive order banning public utilities from disconnecting services for those unable to make payments.

On April 15, Governor Cooper announced at a press conference a game plan to reopening North Carolina in a safe, smart way that doesn’t undercut progress already made. He listed three T’s: testing, tracing and trends. The governor said increased testing would let the state isolate and track new cases of COVID-19, tracing would identify anyone who may have been in contact with a positive case and trends would influence policy decisions by depicting where outbreaks occur or where shortages in equipment exist.

Read more about Governor Cooper’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic in the New York Times.