Elaine Marshall is the early leader for the Democratic Senate nomination in North Carolina. She's at 29% to 12% for Cal Cunningham, 5% for Kenneth Lewis, and 2% for Marcus Williams. Of course the big leader at this stage is 'undecided' with 51%.
You have to see these numbers as good news for both Marshall and Cunningham. It's always good to have a 17 point lead, as the Secretary of State does. And for Cunningham it's good to be polling in double digits without really having spent any money yet.
They're not good news for Lewis- the last financial reports showed that while he's raised the most money of the Democratic candidates he has the least remaining. That's because he's spent more so far than Marshall and Cunningham combined. And he doesn't have much to show for it, as he's polling closer to Williams than he is to Cunningham.
There really aren't any battle lines forming yet on ideological or demographic lines in this race. Marshall's lead is pretty steady across all groups- she has a double digit advantage with liberals, moderates, conservatives, urban, suburban, and rural voters, men, women, Democrats, independents, whites, and blacks. The only group we track she doesn't have the lead with is voters under 30, where Cunningham has the advantage right now. It's also important to note that with black voters, perhaps the key to a Lewis victory in the primary, he's currently running third with 8% behind Marshall's 28% and Cunningham's 14%.
On the Republican side Richard Burr is polling at a surprisingly weak 55% to 10% for Brad Jones and 3% for Eddie Burks. 31% of voters are undecided.
As I've said before I don't think Burr is at any risk of losing the primary but these numbers are just further confirmation of his weak incumbent status. Incumbent Senators aren't supposed to poll at 55% against opponents with no name recognition and no money.
Full results here