Monday, May 10, 2010

The Dole/Burr parallels

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.


Anonymous said...

Tom, why the bad... habit of never releasing polls on Monday?

RC said...

Can we get retiring Sen. Evan Bayh to really pony up some of his $11M+ warchest to help the DSCC and DNC be competitive in races in NC, OH, MO, and NH? Obama and Dems should be actively raising money as well. It would be tragic for Dems to lose these races for lack of money.

Use it or lose it part II is desperately needed.

Christian Liberty said...

And how does the collapse of Democratic participation in the primary figure into this parallel?

wt said...

One thing that this race won't have that Hagan's did -- a 2008 presidential race in a hyper Democratic year.

Since that was the single most important factors in Hagan's victory( driving both turnout and votes), I'm not sure why it's useful to draw any other analogies from the races.

Dustin Ingalls said...

Anonymous, we usually conduct polls over the weekend and need Monday to retrieve and analyze the results and write our press releases.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Obama and Dems should be actively raising money as well. It would be tragic for Dems to lose these races for lack of money."

They are raising a lot of money. The DNC, DSCC, and DCCC are outraising their GOP counterparts by millions every quarter. The GOP has been spending their comparatively limited funds at a greater pace as well. See

Ranjit said...

As I said earlier, the key will be the turnout. There is no way, Dems will get the 2008 turnout from African Americans and College students. The circumstances are so different and it is hard to see Elaine winning the mid term election without the governor or president on the ballot

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