Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We've been here before

With five weeks left to go until the general election, Bev Perdue is at her worst standing in the polls yet. Over PPP's last five surveys her lead has gone from nine points to five to one to one again and now to a three point deficit.

During the primary campaign our poll five weeks out from the election represented rock bottom for Perdue. She went from leading by 27 points at the start of March down to ten then seven and finally a single point at the end of the month.

The next five polls after that showed her up eight, then ten, then nine, then 14, and finally 18 before she finally won by 16.

March and September have been marked by similar problems of message discipline for the Perdue campaign: attacks ads that go all over the place without really establishing a coherent theme that hits home with voters, a lack of visibility from Perdue herself in her ads, etc.

She got her act together in April and ended up winning a comfortable victory. I don't think she can roll out the positive pledge again so it remains to be seen what she can do to fundamentally change the direction of the race from its current course. But I wouldn't underestimate her.

If she is able to replicate her final month success after a disastrous second to last month for the second time this year, one might just have to conclude that Perdue and her campaign team like living dangerously.

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