Want some insight into why voters are so undecided about who they will vote for in the North Carolina Senate primary? Democrats don't know the most basic of facts about their candidates.
Only 47% of those likely to vote next week can identify Elaine Marshall as the candidate who's Secretary of State. Just 30% know that Cal Cunningham's the one who served in Iraq. And only 15% know that Kenneth Lewis is the one who's been endorsed by many of the state's most prominent black leaders.
Here are some key takeaways from these numbers:
-TV advertising matters, big time. In the Triangle and the Triad, where Cunningham had been running ads before the poll was taken, more than 40% of voters knew about his war service. That number plummeted to 11% in the mountains, where his ads were not running. That's quite a dramatic difference.
-Endorsements only do you any good if you have the resources to leverage them. Lewis has received some impressive ones but without the money to let any one know about them, they haven't done him much good. Free media will only get you so far. And most troubling for Lewis, among black voters more think that Marshall (16%) was endorsed by Mel Watt, Harvey Gantt, and Eva Clayton than believe Lewis (15%) was the beneficiary of those endorsements.
-This is a common finding in our polling and not at all surprising, but voters in the Triangle are much more tuned into the campaign and knowledgeable about the candidates than folks in any other part of the state. 64% there know Marshall's current position, compared to 47% statewide. 47% know about Cunningham's military service, to 30% statewide. And 27% know about Lewis' endorsements, to 15% statewide.
The candidates have been telling their stories for months now. But it still doesn't seem the voters have been listening.
Full results here