Likely voters for this fall in North Carolina say they're planning to vote Republican for the Legislature this year by a 49-41 margin. If that holds through November the GOP will almost definitely take control of the General Assembly. At the same time for Democrats it's an avoidable outcome if its voters wake out of their stupor between now and the election.
The Republican lead is coming not because folks who voted Democratic in 2008 are turning against the party, but because so many of them are planning to stay home. Only 6% of people who voted for Barack Obama now say they're planning to vote Republican for the Legislature this year. That number is identical to the 6% of John McCain voters who express an intent to support Democrats. But those planning to vote this fall supported John McCain by 9 points in 2008, in contrast to Barack Obama's actual narrow victory in the state. That massive enthusiasm gap is what has Republicans in a very strong position right now.
The most striking thing in the generic ballot numbers is that independents are currently planning to go for the GOP by a 51-20 margin. Republicans are also more unified, with 89% of them committed to supporting their party's candidates while only 79% of Democrats say the same of theirs.
There's a long way to go in this year's election and things can change a lot between now and November. A poll that came out the first week of September in 2008 (not from PPP) showed John McCain leading in the state by 20 points. Barack Obama of course came back and won it. But Democratic voters are going to have to step up their motivation level to keep from losing the Legislature.
Full results here