Gov. Pat McCrory continues to fumble around for ways to explain why signing HB 2 wasn’t a massive fuck-up. His arguments are bad, he looks like a clown when he tries to present them, and nobody is buying what he’s selling.

A new poll from Elon University, out today, finds that an increasing number of voters are turning away from McCrory in his gubernatorial reelection bid. A February Elon poll had Democratic challenger Roy Cooper ahead of McCrory 42-40. That was before McCrory signed HB 2 into law.

“Our recent finding is consistent with almost all publicly available surveys in showing that the race for governor of North Carolina is likely to be historically close and competitive,” Kenneth Fernandez, director of the poll, said at the time.

The governor’s race may well be a nail-biter in November; plenty of things could change. But today’s poll shows Cooper up 48-42, his largest lead since Elon started polling the two head-to-head.

McCrory’s approval rating has also dipped to its lowest level since April 2014, according to the poll.

Regarding HB 2 itself, a full 49 percent of registered voters polled said they believe the legislature acted within its right on the transgender-restroom component of HB 2, to 39 percent who disagreed. On the other hand, 50 percent said the legislature overreached in prohibiting cities from raising the minimum wage, to 44 percent who felt the state should be able to do so.

The full poll results can be reviewed here.