Bev Perdue led Richard Moore by 27 points four weeks ago. Now she leads by just one. Why?
1) The biggest single reason is that her support was not that solid to begin with. But neither is Moore's. Our poll last week showed that 51% of her supporters and 46% of his supporters could change their minds between now and the election. Neither candidate has a particularly strong base of passionate supporters like you might see in the Presidential race, and that means just about anything could happen between now and May 6th depending on who runs the stronger campaign, which leads to #2...
2) Over the last month the Moore campaign has done a better job than the Perdue campaign (just as the Perdue camp did a much better job in January and February.) Moore relaunched his efforts with positive ads focused on populist issues, then effectively attacked Perdue on that same set of things. The Perdue campaign has responded, but the message has not been as strong or as well presented as Moore's.
The bottom line? This is reminding me of the UNC basketball game Saturday night. In the first half UNC built up a solid lead. In the first ten minutes of the second half Louisville came out and played phenomenally, UNC couldn't match it, and the entire lead it had taken the Heels 20 minutes to build up was erased in 10 minutes.
The Governor's race, like the basketball game, is back at square one with the last quarter to go and the campaign that works the smartest and has the most heart is going to pull it out. And since neither outfit has Tyler Hansbrough to step it up, it is wide open.