We're going to have our first post-primary North Carolina Senate numbers out tomorrow and there continues to be an uncanny resemblance between how the race is progressing this year and how it did for Elizabeth Dole in 2008.
It took forever for Democrats to get someone to run against Dole over the course of 2007 despite her tepid poll numbers. That scenario replayed itself in 2009 as the party tried to find someone to run against Richard Burr.
Once Democrats did get someone to run against Dole she led by solid margins in most of the early polling, leading some to question whether she was really that vulnerable. Burr, similarly, has had healthy leads over Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham in our surveys to date.
Dole's polling advantage in the early part of 2008 turned out to be inflated due to her opponents' lack of name recognition, and as soon as Kay Hagan became a more familiar face to the state's voters over the course of her primary campaign she pulled within the margin of error against Dole on our first poll after she was the nominee. Our numbers tomorrow find Marshall doing even better than Hagan was at this point in the race, and Cunningham doing similarly.
Obviously the next six months will be more important than everything that has happened to date, and they could unfold in a fundamentally different way than the stretch run of the Hagan/Dole race did. But so far the parallels between the two contests are strong.