Earlier this week I wrote about how Bill Graham's standing in our polls relative to Fred Smith had dropped precipitously in the last three months.
Yesterday someone asked me why Civitas still showed him in the lead in their poll last month as he has declined in ours.
I don't have a definite answer but I do have a theory.
Earlier this year, BlueNC blogger Jim Protzman posited that Graham was doing well in early opinion polls because people were mixing him up with the Reverend Billy Graham.
I hadn't thought about that in a while but when I wrote my post about candidate Graham's drop in the polls earlier this week I got several hits on the blog off of google alerts- from Billy Graham Ministries!
How does this relate to Civitas? Well we only poll likely primary voters when we do our primary tracking polls and I think most folks who care enough about politics to vote in a primary know by now that the Reverend Billy is not running to be the Governor of North Carolina.
But Civitas polls likely general election voters and many of them might not have followed the race closely enough so far this year to know the difference.
For most of the year Civitas has identified each of the candidates by their background when doing their polls, so folks would have known that it was Trial Lawyer Bill Graham rather than the Reverend Billy Graham. But it doesn't look like they used those tags for their November poll.
So that's my theory, at least for now.