Monday, April 20, 2009

A couple notes on Cooper

Beyond the obvious good news for Roy Cooper that he was leading Richard Burr when we polled the two against each other last week there was some other good stuff for Cooper in the poll:

-The first is that he trailed Burr only 45-36 among white voters. Allocate the undecideds proportionately and you would have Burr winning that demographic just 56-44. For sake of comparison Barack Obama took the state with only 35% of the white vote, and Kay Hagan was able to win by nine points despite exit polls showing she got just 39% of that vote against Elizabeth Dole. Why is that so important? Black turnout is pretty inevitably going to be down next year without Obama at the top of the ticket, and that means for Democrats to win this race they're probably going to have to do better with white voters than they often least 40% most likely. Cooper starts out in a strong position to get that level of support.

-There's also good news for Cooper on the potentially contested primary front. Some might think that the characteristics that make Cooper such a strong general election candidate- his moderate, tough, no nonsense image- might make him susceptible to a challenger from the left within a Democratic primary. But only 6% of voters who describe themselves as liberals say they have a negative opinion of him compared to 57% who view him favorably. That more than likely means a pretty safe route to the nomination. It's there for the taking, he just needs to make his decision.

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