Friday, February 15, 2008

Breaking down the SurveyUSA poll on the Republican side

I'm running three days behind on this one, but better late than never. Again, here are the numbers:

Pat McCrory 33
Fred Smith 16
Bill Graham 16
Bob Orr 9

My thoughts:

-The conventional wisdom has been that McCrory would have trouble with conservatives in his party, but in this poll he actually has an even wider lead with them than he does with moderates. He leads Smith 33-18 with folks who described themselves as conservatives and has a smaller 32-19 lead over Graham with moderates.

I think McCrory could still have trouble with conservatives but only if Graham and/or Smith run a bunch of ads trying to project him as a liberal. Whether they do that, and how effective it is, could determine the nominee.

My guess is that McCrory will win without a runoff unless his opponents aggressively spend money attacking him.

-That said, McCrory is still lagging behind in the parts of the state outside Charlotte. In eastern North Carolina Smith leads with 23%, followed by Graham at 20% and McCrory at 12%. In the combined Triangle and Triad, Graham has the advantage with 21%, followed by Smith at at 18% and McCrory at 16. But McCrory blows them all out of the water in Charlotte and WNC with 61%, the next closest being Smith at 11%.

The full results from this poll are here.

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