In North Carolina's Democratic Senate primary Elaine Marshall continues to lead the way but Kenneth Lewis and Cal Cunningham have made the largest gains over the last month.
Marshall has 20% to 16% for Cunningham and 11% for Lewis. Minor candidates Susan Harris, Marcus Williams, and Ann Worthy combine for another 6% and the big winner remains 'undecided' at 47%.
Lewis is up six points from a month ago while Cunningham has improved by four points. The candidates continue to be largely unknown. 63% of primary voters have no opinion about Marshall and that makes her the prominent one in the race. 79% are ambivalent toward Lewis and 83% are toward Cunningham.
Most of the findings in the crosstabs are within the margin of error. Marshall does have a clear lead with conservatives (23-9 over Lewis), whites (23-14 over Cunningham), and senior citizens (29-14 over Cunningham.)
Little of what's going on with these campaigns in public right now will have much relevance to the final outcome. These folks are not seeing their name recognition increase and there hasn't been much of a decrease in the percentage of undecided voters. For all intents and purposes this is likely to be a two or three week campaign in late April/early May when the candidates go on the air and the voters start getting more exposure to them and really thinking about the primary. There's a plausible path to victory for all three of the front runners.
On the Republican side Richard Burr has nothing to worry about with 58% to 5% for Brad Jones, 4% for Eddie Burks, and 1% for Larry Linney. The 33% who remain undecided is a small source of worry not so much for the primary as for the general because it shows many Republican voters are ambivalent toward Burr, which could make it hard to make them motivated to go vote in the fall. But for May he has nothing to worry about.
Burr said last month it would be impossible for any candidate to get to the right of him, and for the most part voters within his party agree. 68% think that ideologically he is 'about right' compared to only 14% who believe he is too liberal.
Full results here