Bev Perdue 41 McCrory 39
Perdue 43 Bill Graham 34
Moore 37 Graham 30
Moore 40 Bob Orr 26
Perdue 43 Orr 30
Moore 44 Fred Smith 27
Perdue 43 Smith 30
The big winner here is Richard Moore. Not only does he now lead all four Republicans after trailing Bill Graham and Pat McCrory last month, but he also leads most of them by a greater margin than Bev Perdue does.
The Republican front runners right now appear to be Pat McCrory and Fred Smith, and this poll certainly shows some strong contrasts about their electability if either wins the primary. McCrory is the closest of the Republicans, trailing Perdue by 2 and Moore by 5. Smith is the weakest general election candidate, trailing Perdue by 13 and Moore by 17.
The big question is whether GOP voters are going to be willing to sacrifice some ideological purity to choose the moderate McCrory over the conservative Smith.
The key difference between Moore and Perdue's performance in this poll is that he is doing much better among voters who identify themselves as Republicans than Perdue does, showing a greater likelihood of crossover support if he is the nominee. This chart shows Moore and Perdue's deficit among GOP voters against each of the Republican candidates:
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Only a few more Republican voters actually say they'll vote for Moore than say they'll vote for Perdue. But significantly more are undecided with Moore in the race than Perdue. That's an indication that GOP voters know they won't support Perdue, but at this point they're at least giving Moore a chance.
Other key findings:
-The strong regional base Pat McCrory is banking on to win the primary appears to be there for the general election as well. He earns over 60% of the vote in the greater Charlotte region against both Moore and Perdue. By comparison the rest of the Republican candidates get just 27-36% in that area in their match ups.
-Democrats hold strong leads in the Triangle, Triad, and Southeastern North Carolina in all eight matches. They also lead seven out of eight contests in the Mountains and in Northeastern North Carolina.
Full results here.