Our new poll yesterday showed that Fred Smith has closed to within five points of Pat McCrory.
What's interesting is that over the last month McCrory's level of support has remained remarkably stable. He was at 35% in the first poll of the month, went up to 36, down to 34, and now back to 36 for the last two weeks. So it's not like he's losing support.
He is remaining stagnant though, while Smith is on the climb. Smith started the month at 23%, went to 26, had a one week blip back to 25, then went up to 29 and now 31.
My guess is that conservative voters who were undecided between Smith, Bill Graham, and Bob Orr have started moving into the Smith column because they realize he's the only one with a chance.
It is hard to predict what will happen this final week, especially with 21% of voters still undecided. I am particularly interested to see what impact Bill Graham's tv advertising will have. Orr and Graham have combined for 11-12% in our last four polls, which is not a good enough performance to cause a runoff. But if they managed to push their level of support into the 25% range, say 15% for Graham and 10% for Orr as undecideds break and Graham steps up his campaign, we could see the McCrory-Smith dynamic end up at 39-36 or 38-37.
My guess is that even our final poll will not make it much more clear what's going to happen on Tuesday because I still think 10% or more will report as undecided. It may be that those folks end up not actually voting, or make decisions based on relatively spurious reasoning.
We'll know this time next week!