Based on our most recent polls, if the undecideds were distributed in the same proportion as current candidate support we would only have three statewide runoffs in North Carolina this year.
One would be in the Democratic race for Labor Commissioner. Distributing the undecideds would give John Brooks 27%, Mary Fant Donnan 27%, Ty Richardson 24%, and Robin Anderson 22%. These candidates are all pretty evenly matched and no one is anywhere close to 40%. I expect this race really will see a runoff.
Another is the Republican race for Lieutenant Governor. Right now Greg Dority would have 37%, Robert Pittenger would have 33%, Jim Snyder would have 20%, and Tim Cook would have 11%. I do not expect to see a runoff in this race. Pittenger is well funded but has held back on his money so far. Once he starts spending it he figures to earn a victory with over 40%.
The third is the Democratic contest for Lieutenant Governor. Based on our poll last week Walter Dalton would be at 33%, Dan Besse at 23%, Pat Smathers at 23%, and Hampton Dellinger at 20%. I imagine that once the candidates start really spending their money in this race we'll see some separation but this one is probably headed for a runoff as well.
There are three other races where distributing the undecideds would put the current leader just over 40%. I think two of those are real runoff possibilities.
In the Democratic Treasurer's race, Janet Cowell would be at 43% followed by David Young at 37%, and Michael Weisel at 20%. Weisel has lagged behind in all of our polling, but he does have a considerable war chest. If he turns it into more of a three way tie, it could head to a runoff. Of course in her senate campaign four years ago many folks thought Cowell was headed for one and she pulled off quite an impressive performance with around 50% of the vote.
In the Democratic Senate race Kay Hagan is projecting to 45% followed by Jim Neal at 26%, Marcus Williams at 14%, Duskin Lassiter at 10%, and Howard Staley at 5%. The 19 point margin between Hagan and Neal seems about right to me, especially if Hagan does a pretty strong media buy and Neal doesn't. I don't think Williams, Lassiter, and Staley will really end up combining for 29% of the vote, and my guess is Hagan ends up somewhere in the 50-60 range while Neal finishes somewhere in the 30-40 range.
Finally there is the Republican race for Superintendent. Right now Richard Morgan would have 45%, followed by Eric Smith with 29% and Joe Johnson at 26%. I imagine Morgan will win without a runoff- unless the Pope machine decides to bring him down. A negative independent expenditure would certainly be a new thing for a Superintendent primary but those folks sure don't like Morgan.
We will have at least a bit of a statewide election on June 24th, but right now it doesn't look like the ballot will be very full.