Independent voters have been leaning toward the Republicans for the entire 2009-10 election cycle in North Carolina, but that's reached a new level this month that Democrats will have to turn around by the fall to avoid a disastrous result at the polls.
This month we found them planning to vote GOP by a 47-18 margin for the legislature and by a 46-19 margin in their Congressional races. You don't have to go too far to find an explanation for why they're leaning so heavily toward the Republicans. 63% of them disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing to just 33% approving and Bev Perdue's numbers with are even worse as 56% give her poor marks to just 23% who think she's doing a good job. When you have the two most important Democratic officials getting those kinds of reviews from independents, it doesn't do much to help the cause of their party's other candidates.
The most amazing thing we're seeing with independents right now is their attitude toward Richard Burr. They don't particularly care for him, with 43% saying they disapprove of his job performance to 31% approving. But then when you ask them how they plan to vote this fall they turn right around and say they'd give Burr a 43-23 advantage over Elaine Marshall, a 42-21 over Kenneth Lewis, and a 45-18 one over Cal Cunningham. They don't like Burr personally, but they like the idea of another Democratic Senator even less.
It's a long way until November and things can change on a dime in politics but Democrats are going to have to find a way to reach these voters and get their minds on something other than health care if they're going to do well at the polls this fall.