Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Burr up 5 on Marshall

Richard Burr begins the month of July with a 5 point lead over Elaine Marshall, 9 points less than the advantage Elizabeth Dole had over Kay Hagan at the same point in the cycle two years ago.

Burr's at 38% to 33% for Marshall and a surprising 10% for Libertarian Michael Beitler. Beitler's running basically even with Burr and Marshall among independents, getting 26% to 29% for the Democratic challenger and 27% for the Republican incumbent. Contrary to conventional wisdom about where Libertarian candidates get their support from Beitler is actually pulling 7% of Democrats to just 4% of Republicans. Beitler may be doing well with conservative Democrats who don't want to give Barack Obama another vote in the Senate but who don't much care for Burr either.

The punditry has stated time and again that one reason the 2010 North Carolina Senate race won't be a repeat of the 2008 contest is that Burr has been much more visible than Dole was, but someone forgot to tell the voters that. 41% of North Carolinians think that Dole was more visible as a Senator than Burr has been to 32% who think Burr has been more visible, and 27% with no opinion. The feeling that Dole was more visible is held by Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

Burr's relatively anonymity for an incumbent Senator can be seen in his approval numbers. 28% of voters still have no opinion of him, with those who do splitting negatively. 34% like the job he's doing while 39% disapprove.

Marshall is still pretty unknown too despite 14 years in statewide office and a recently completed campaign to secure her party's nomination. 58% of voters have no opinion about her with 22% seeing her favorably and 20% unfavorably.

Burr still holds the lead thanks to a party that is much more united around him than Democrats are around Marshall. Burr's winning 74% of the Republican vote while Marshall is currently earning just 57% of the Democratic vote.

Burr really doesn't have much going for him other than the fact that it's a very Republican leaning political climate. That may end up trumping all other factors in the end. But for now this looks likely to be a very competitive race.

Full results here

16 comments:

PackMan97 said...

Count me as one vote for Beitler. Anyone that voted for the bailouts goes this November. Anyone that supports Obama's agenda goes this November.

The madness has to stop.

Jayant Reddy said...

Well, Burr has one other thing going for him besides the anti-Democratic environment: money. I suspect Dems will lose both NC-Sen and OH-Sen (where Portman is crushing Fisher financially) because of this.

Sam said...

If anything ends up trumping all factors in the end, it's going to be Burr's ability to define himself and his opponent due to his large cash advantage.

Anonymous said...

Do you buy 10% for the Libertarian candidate? Seems too high to me.

Tom Jensen said...

I don't think the Libertarian will really end up getting 10% but I think that's an accurate reflection of current support- people are parked there as a protest vote and will probably move toward one of the major party candidates as the election gets closer.

mf1urice said...

Money isn't everything and I wouldn't count Marshall out. Burr is going ot have a fight on his hands. This state is truly a purple state and Obama is only an issue if Marhsall allows him to be one. The fact that most people are unaware that Burr is the incumbent makes this race a true toss-up.

AG said...

If people are sick of wall street bailouts and whatnot why are there so many billionaires running viable campaigns all over the country?

I was wondering, Tom, what you think is behind Marshall's weak support numbers from Democrats. Is it aftermath from her primary battle with Cunningham, or is it like Kentucky where Barack Obama isn't popular among Southern Democrats...for some reason.

joel said...

Better watch it, you are ruining the pundits narrative of a republican tidal wave.
Maybe you can actually show what a fraud rasmussen is since you are about the only pollster out there doing much polling.

NRH said...

The Libertarian Party might have an unusual role in North Carolina this year, particularly if the race stays low-visibility. The more people think "Oh, the Republican is just going to win, it's North Carolina," the more easily they cast their protest vote for the third-party candidate. If the race isn't making an impact on people near the end, then the Libertarian candidate might well end up being closer than normal to their reported poll numbers (as third-party candidates usually drop support in the actual election from their poll numbers).

NRH said...

Weak support from Democrats in Southern races is fairly common, as there are still a lot of areas where everyone registers as a Democrat but votes for Republicans in federal races. A number of Southern legislatures have large Democratic majorities but aren't remotely competitive for Senate seats or in presidential elections.

Keane said...

Another vote for Beitler, here. No more "business as usual" in D.C. Operating the government without an approved budget and with unchecked spending should land the legislature in jail. Enough is enough.

Paige Michael-Shetley said...

"Contrary to conventional wisdom about where Libertarian candidates get their support from Beitler is actually pulling 7% of Democrats to just 4% of Republicans. Beitler may be doing well with conservative Democrats who don't want to give Barack Obama another vote in the Senate but who don't much care for Burr either."

Disagree with your reasoning, Tom. The evidence from 2008 points to Mike Munger taking more Democratic votes than Republican ones. Remember, the Libertarian Party has much more in common on cultural issues with the left of the Democratic Party in NC than they do with Republicans or Conservative Democrats. The LP has put a good bit of effort into reaching out to certain segments of Democrats on these issues. In the words of Mike Munger from 2008, Mike Beitler is the "real liberal in the race," at least on said set of issues.

Anonymous said...

Rasmussen's latest puts Burr up comfortably.

Dole's fame automatically made her more visible in media than Burr. I've never heard or read anyone argue differently, so Tom's post is pretty bizarre. Burr may have been to more local events, but without the same level of local/national media coverage.

Burr has a lot of campaign $ to advertise his stands against the Obama agenda.

Going to have to be pretty creative over the next couple months to find things to spin against Burr. Try throwing a fictional Tea Party candidate in the mix!

NRH said...

Interesting numbers from Ras! Apparently by his own numbers, Burr has gone from a one-point lead two weeks ago to the high teens now. This is the sort of obvious attempts to set narratives we see from Ras so frequently - see, for the most vivid recent example, his claim of a 24-point lead for Rand Paul immediately after the Kentucky primaries, or his North Carolina poll this week.

Anonymous said...

So Scott Rasmussen is simply making up polls to show Marshall surging after the primary and then cratering, and Paul surging after the primary and then cratering?

Pretty bizarre conspiracy theory.

As Rasmussen pointed out, aside from the one post-primary poll, Burr's and Marshall's numbers have been in a pretty tight range for an extended period. PPP has shown something similar, except a consistently lower result for Burr.

Of course, PPP has seemingly given up polling head-to-head numbers.

Starchild said...

Go Beitler! We need someone who's going to stand up for civil liberties without behaving like a tax-and-spender.

People shouldn't be afraid of "wasting their votes" by voting Libertarian or for other alternative party candidates. Realistically speaking, your vote is not going to change the outcome anyway, only add to someone's total, and you don't get a prize if you vote for the winner!

The only "wasted vote" is a vote cast for a candidate you don't really believe is the best person for the job. The way things have been going, it's time to start thinking outside the two-party box.

 
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