Richard Burr leads Elaine Marshall 52-40 on PPP's final poll for the North Carolina Senate election. Burr is winning with independents and getting 22% of the Democratic vote while only 6% of Republicans are crossing over to vote for Marshall.
Burr significantly improved his image with North Carolina voters during the last two months of the campaign after launching heavy television advertising. For most of the year his approval numbers were mired in the 30s but now 45% of voters say they approve of the job he's doing to 39% who disapprove, solid numbers for a Senator in this political climate.
Marshall's personal favorability numbers are pretty good as well, with 40% of voters seeing her positively to 35% with a negative opinion. The greatest difficulty for Marshall's campaign has been the specter of Barack Obama's unpopularity in the state. He has only a 41% approval rating with 55% of voters disapproving of him and there's a near total correlation between how voters feel about Obama and how they're planning to vote in the Senate race. Voters happy with Obama are going with Marshall by an 87-6 margin. Voters unhappy with Obama are going with Burr by an 89-6 margin. It's hard to see how any Democratic nominee would have been able to overcome that in North Carolina this year.
The biggest issue for Democrats in the state beyond Obama this year is turnout. We anticipate that Democrats will have about a 6 point advantage in terms of whom comes out to vote this year, in contrast to their actual 13 point registration advantage in the state. With independents leaning toward the GOP and a good number of conservative Democrats doing so as well this year Democrats need to exceed those turnout projections to avoid heavy losses tomorrow.
Full results here