There was a lot more interesting data in our final North Carolina primary poll than we had time to get to on Sunday night.
Here are a couple reasons why Cal Cunningham could do better today than his numbers suggest:
-Among voters with a favorable opinion of both Cunningham and Elaine Marshall, he leads her 42-30. That's an indication that his lagging her in the polls is still a product of voters not knowing him as well as they do her, and if that changed as voters really had to make up their minds in the last couple days of the campaign it could allow him to pull closer to her.
-Among voters who had seen television ads for both Cunningham and Marshall, he led her 38-30. Most of the interviews for our final poll were conducted on Saturday. If Cunningham's ads set in more with folks over the final 72 hours before the polls opened his standing could have improved.
Our last poll suggested Marshall would probably end up right around the 40% mark, give or take a couple points, in tonight's returns. Here are a couple reasons why she could end up on the right side of that line:
-Undecided voters, when asked who they would support in a runoff election between Marshall and Cunningham, said they would go for her by a 27-17 margin. That suggests those remaining folks making up their minds could be more inclined to end up in her column.
-Among senior citizens who had made up their minds Marshall led 48-35 and among white voters who had Marshall led 45-37. Early voting numbers suggest we'll have an electorate that's much older and whiter than usual, and Marshall was comfortably on the right side of 40% among those voters in the weekend polling.
With a third of voters undecided there's room for hope in both the Marshall and Cunningham camps as we get closer to the finish line in this primary.