Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Burr's Republican Problem

We didn't test any specific Democrats against Richard Burr this month, but we did measure his reelection prospects on a couple more generic measures, and it didn't come out good:

-Only 29% of North Carolina voters think Burr deserves another term, while 49% think it's time to give someone else a chance.

-Tested against a generic Democratic candidate, Burr trails 41-38.

-His approval rating is 34%, in the same mid-30s range where it's been all but one of the last seven months.

Perhaps the most interesting results came in answer to the question about whether Burr deserves another term- just 49% of Republicans said yes. Now obviously most of those folks would still end up voting for him next fall- he has a 73-10 lead with GOP voters on the generic ballot- but it speaks to a significant lack of enthusiasm about Burr with the Republican base.

That doesn't mean they're all going to go out next year and vote for the Democratic candidate. But with this race at the top of the ticket it might mean they don't bother to turn out at all...if the Senate race doesn't draw people out it's hard to see what's on the ballot that will.

The poll isn't all bad news for Burr...he has a 39-32 lead with independents on the generic ballot. But any Republican who's going to win statewide in North Carolina needs to win a lot of crossover support from Democrats, and with just 11% of them saying Burr deserves another term and 9% saying they would vote for Burr against a Democrat, he has a long way to go on that front. Couple that with the tepid support from the Republican base, and you have a pretty vulnerable incumbent.

Of course the biggest question is what Democrat's going to step to the plate...with Kay Hagan up for reelection in 2014 and the likelihood that Burr could become much more entrenched if he wins a second term, it may be a very long time before there's this good an opportunity for a Democrat to get elected to the Senate from North Carolina.

Full results here.

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