People are always asking me when there's going to be some movement in the Treasurer's race, and the Lieutenant Governor's race, and everything else further on down the ballot. Right now most people are undecided in those races.
The answer is when the candidates start spending their money. And in a story in the Asheville Citizen-Times this weekend David Young probably answered the question for when all the down ballot candidates who have money to spend will likely start spending it: April 17th, around the time early voting starts.
Voters' attention spans are so limited that it's a prudent strategy to hold back and spend it all in the last two to three weeks.
What down ballot candidates have the funds to spend a lot of money on tv and mail? You need at least half a million dollars to run an effective campaign to the masses and I think the folks who fit the bill are Walter Dalton and Hampton Dellinger in the Democratic race for Lieutenant Governor, Janet Cowell, Michael Weisel, and Young in the Democratic race for Treasurer, and Robert Pittenger in the Republican race for Lieutenant Governor.
That's not to say the candidates who are not as well funded have no chance. But it does mean they need to work that much harder to get their message out there in free or inexpensive ways, and they need to be creative with the money they have.
We're including the Lieutenant Governor races in our poll tonight but I'm pretty sure they will both continue to show over 50% undecided until that money starts getting spent.