Richard Burr's numbers are looking a little bit better than they did a month ago, perhaps owing to declining support for the President in North Carolina.
Burr's approval rating is now 36/29, an improvement from a 34/35 spread last month. And he now leads a generic Democratic candidate 40-38, after trailing by a 41-38 margin in June.
Burr leads likely Democratic opponents Cal Cunningham and Kenneth Lewis 40-31 and 42-31 respectively.
This poll provides continuing confirmation that independents in the state are leaning Republican as we move toward 2010. Even though they slightly disapprove of his performance, 35/33, they give Burr a ten point lead on the generic ballot and ones of 17 and 18 points over Lewis and Cunningham. It's an early indicator that messaging about not giving Democrats too much power may have some sway in the state next year.
Despite some signs of improvement, Burr continues to be in a weaker position than Elizabeth Dole was at this point two years ago. Our July 2007 survey found her with a 46% approval rating and a 43-27 lead over eventual opponent Kay Hagan. Cunningham and Lewis are both polling better right now against Burr than Hagan did in any of our surveys until after she had won the primary in May 2008.
The other thing noteworthy in the match ups with Lewis and Cunningham is that there are more than twice as many Democratic undecideds as Republicans, giving both of them a lot more room to grow than Burr.
Full results here