Head to Head:
Richard Burr's approval rating continues to languish in the 30s, the newest survey from Public Policy Polling finds. Even as he enters his fifth year representing North Carolina in the Senate, a 37% plurality of the state's voters continue to have no opinion of him one way or the other.
By comparison, former Senator Elizabeth Dole had a 44% approval rating in January 2008.
Congressman Heath Shuler, one of the Democrats being most commonly discussed as a potential Burr opponent, is an unknown commodity to 58% of voters in the state, with 21% holding a favorable opinion of him and 21% viewing him unfavorably.
Interestingly though Shuler's popularity in the Mountains, which he represents in Congress, is higher than Burr's approval in any individual region of the state. 51% of voters there have a favorable opinion of him. Burr doesn't have higher than a 41% approval rating in any individual section of the state. The fact that those who know Shuler think so highly of him bodes well for his prospects as a candidate if he decides to enter the race and start building up a statewide profile.
In a preliminary head to head match up Burr leads Shuler 39-28. This lead is largely a product of two times more Democrats saying they're undecided than Republicans. While 38% of Democrats aren't sure who they would support at this preliminary stage, only 19% of Republicans are.
A PPP survey last month found Burr trailing Roy Cooper 39-34. Polling under 40% against two potential 2010 opponents is not a good sign for his reelection prospects.
Full results here