Garin-Hart-Yang has some fascinating new numbers out on voter attitudes in NC-11, Heath Shuler's Congressional District.
Overall Shuler's approval rating is 49%, with 24% of his constituents disapproving of his job performance. Those are great numbers for a Congressman. But what I find particularly interesting is how small the gap is between his approval with Democrats (56%) and Republicans (46%). I can't think of another politician I've seen approval numbers on where the difference was so minimal along party lines.
Of course there are positives and perils because of that. The cross over support from Republicans is very good news for a possible future statewide run. However, his reviews from Democrats are pretty weak and don't necessarily bode well for a primary where he'd have to win over an electorate heavily concentrated in the I-85 corridor.
One thing's for sure though at this point: Shuler will hold his district for as long as he wants it.
Other interesting stuff from the poll:
-61% of voters in NC-11 have no opinion of Richard Burr. That almost makes our numbers on him look charitable. He's viewed favorably 24/15 by those who are familiar with him.
-Barack Obama and Sarah Palin get very similar reviews...42% favorable for Obama and 40% favorable for Palin. Remember that Obama lost this district by five points so those numbers aren't particularly surprising.