Kay Hagan 21
Jim Neal 7
John Ross Hendrix 6
Duskin Lassiter 5
Howard Staley 1
Hagan and Neal are viewed as the viable candidates, and rightly so, but it is remarkable that even four months after launching his campaign Neal is not polling in double digits and is barely besting two candidates who aren't viewed as having a prayer.
It's hard to figure what Neal's strategy is. He is keeping up an incredible schedule of appearances, seemingly speaking to any group of 25 people that will have him on a given night. That's a nice thing to do but it's just not how you get elected to the US Senate in a state as big as North Carolina. There are too many people here to win by talking to all of them. Carter Wrenn had a good post on that strategy over at Talking about Politics yesterday.
He's also getting little traction with fundraising. I haven't seen this reported anywhere else yet but he only actually raised a little under 100k through December 31st. More than half of his reported 215k came from a personal loan of 120k. And he'd already managed to spend 76k in the first three months of his campaign, mostly on staff and consultants. He seems to have a whole lot of staff for a poorly funded campaign.
In some ways I think Neal would be a stronger candidate than Hagan for Democrats this year. He has a lot more passion and fire for the race than she does, and almost every time they both go speak somewhere Neal gets far better reviews.
But you don't get elected to the Senate by giving a good speech. You do it by running a strong campaign. And unless he turns it around quick he's going to get licked by Hagan in the primary.
Full results here