Thursday, March 20, 2008

Republican Tracking Poll: Governor

Pat McCrory 29
Fred Smith 29
Bill Graham 8
Bob Orr 7
Elbie Powers 1

Never doubt the power of television. Pat McCrory and Fred Smith have separated themselves even more from the rest of the GOP field and it is no coincidence that they're the only two candidates who have run tv ads recently.

Smith is actually leading among Republican voters, 30-29. It appears unaffiliateds could make or break the election for McCrory- he leads 27-16 among them in this poll, which makes the race tied overall.

Even as McCrory lost his out right lead there are some clear signs in the poll that his ads are making an impact. For instance he trails Smith only 33-30 in the Triangle, which is by far the best performance he has shown in any area outside of the Charlotte tv market since he entered the race.

The key to Smith tying the race is voters in eastern North Carolina. His margins there aren't quite as large as the one McCrory has in Charlotte, but a 47-10 lead in the northeastern part of the state and a 43-11 advantage in the southeastern part are the key areas keeping him tied.

His large margins there are an indication that grassroots politics is playing some role in this campaign. He has worked small counties in eastern North Carolina hard in the last few weeks as he wraps up his 100 county BBQ tour, winning new friends in parts of the state Pat McCrory is not likely to make it to before the primary and generating positive local media coverage.

In the Senate race, Elizabeth Dole leads Pete DiLauro 83-11.

Full results here.

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