Our polling continues to find that North Carolina voters are closely divided when it comes to next year's legislative elections, pointing to a close battle for control of the House and Senate.
Right now 43% of voters say they plan to go with Democrats while 42% prefer Republicans. Two major themes continue to present themselves in our legislative polling, which are that GOP voters are more unified than Democrats and that independents are leaning slightly toward the Republicans for next year.
88% of Republicans say they will support their party in 2010 to 76% of Democrats who say they will. Independents express a Republican intent by a margin of 34-32.
Two main takeaways from our ongoing polling:
1) As we begin 2010 Republicans probably do have their best chance since 1994 of grabbing control of both houses of the General Assembly. Of course a lot could change between now and November- it would have been hard last December to imagine things looking as dreary for Democrats as they do right now.
2) Between the US Senate race and a spirited battle for control of the legislature, it looks like North Carolina will have another highly competitive election season.
A lot of the most important work in determining whether Republicans can take over will occur over the next two months before candidate filing. The quality of the folks they run against incumbent Democrats and in open seat situations will go a long way toward determining whether they can take advantage of this favorable political climate.