Robin Hayes 43
Larry Kissell 36
Thomas Hill 7
Incumbent Robin Hayes, who barely edged Larry Kissell in 2006, has a seven point lead in this year's rematch in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District.
The good news for Kissell is that he has a lot more room to move up. While only 6% of Republicans are undecided, 22% of Democrats are. Among African American voters, Kissell is currently at 55% with 24% undecided. That is likely to move at least into the 80% range if not higher once Kissell reintroduces himself to the voters this fall.
Kissell is largely undefined to the voters. 48% do not have an opinion of him one way or the other. The negative ads Hayes ran against Kissell in June were an attempt to define Kissell with the voters before Kissell got the opportunity to do so himself, but they don't seem to have driven his negatives up too high.
Hayes does not enjoy a particularly high approval rating, at 38%. It is interesting that even after ten years in Congress a full quarter of his constituents do not have an opinion one way or the other about his job performance.
Hayes is definitely the early favorite here but Kissell is within striking distance, and if he gets the resources he needs to compete with Hayes on the airwaves this fall the contest could go either way.
Full results here.