Ryan Beckwith notes this morning that Richard Burr has been stepping up his visibility in recent days. That's something he certainly needs to do with multiple polling companies showing that a plurality of North Carolina voters don't have an opinion of him. But is railing against politically popular programs like SCHIP and the stimulus the kind of visibility that's going to help build up his numbers?
A poll we conducted in October 2007 showed 60% of North Carolinians in support of SCHIP. There was quite a division along party lines, with 87% of Democrats in support and 66% of Republicans opposed. 62% of independents were supportive.
There's not been any publicly released North Carolina specific polling on the stimulus that I'm aware of but as Mark Blumenthal pointed out this week, no matter how you word it more Americans support it than are opposed. I don't see any reason why the numbers would be different here.
I guess by opposing these programs Burr is appealing to the base, but no matter how much Republicans may try to ascribe their losses last year to disaffected conservatives staying home because the party 'lost its roots,' the reality is that there are a lot more Democrats than Republicans in the state right now. No Republican is going to win statewide without securing a good number of votes from Democrats and independents, and as long as Burr just keeps on toeing the party line on everything he's not going to give them much of a reason to cross over and support him.