Monday, August 4, 2008

Auditor's Race

I heard from half a dozen people with their theories about why Beth Wood is significantly out polling Les Merritt but the most plausible came from one of the wisest veterans of North Carolina politics: a Democratic woman is going to beat a Republican man.

There's a lot of validity to that. Democrats lead in 4 of 5 Council of State races where they've nominated a woman running against a man, and I imagine Janet Cowell is going to end up winning this fall as well. In the 5 races that don't fit that description Democrats have the advantage in only 2.

It just is not plausible that a significant mass of voters are choosing against Merritt because of his job performance. Given that Civitas recently found less than half of the state's likely voters know who controls the Legislature, I'm guessing even less know who the Auditor is, and even less beyond that have an opinion about his job performance one way or the other.

At the end of the day the why doesn't matter all that much- at this point Beth Wood is the clear favorite to beat the incumbent.


Chris said...

Les got some pretty negative press throughout his tenure. And I'd imagine that plenty of African-Americans are still ticked at him for that race he ran against Ralph Campbell. My thought is that if you are on the Council of State..your job should be to stay out of the news. Just coast..Merritt couldn't do that so the only time his name ever popped up was in bad context on local TV.

Anonymous said...

But isn't Merritt going to be on the ballot as "Leslie" this year? He was in 2004, but not in 2000. I think you should be sure to poll him as such as opposed to "Les" and I think you might see a difference.

Tom Jensen said...

He was polled as Leslie in this most recent survey.

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