Tuesday, March 16, 2010

North Carolina Primaries

In North Carolina's Democratic Senate primary Elaine Marshall continues to lead the way but Kenneth Lewis and Cal Cunningham have made the largest gains over the last month.

Marshall has 20% to 16% for Cunningham and 11% for Lewis. Minor candidates Susan Harris, Marcus Williams, and Ann Worthy combine for another 6% and the big winner remains 'undecided' at 47%.

Lewis is up six points from a month ago while Cunningham has improved by four points. The candidates continue to be largely unknown. 63% of primary voters have no opinion about Marshall and that makes her the prominent one in the race. 79% are ambivalent toward Lewis and 83% are toward Cunningham.

Most of the findings in the crosstabs are within the margin of error. Marshall does have a clear lead with conservatives (23-9 over Lewis), whites (23-14 over Cunningham), and senior citizens (29-14 over Cunningham.)

Little of what's going on with these campaigns in public right now will have much relevance to the final outcome. These folks are not seeing their name recognition increase and there hasn't been much of a decrease in the percentage of undecided voters. For all intents and purposes this is likely to be a two or three week campaign in late April/early May when the candidates go on the air and the voters start getting more exposure to them and really thinking about the primary. There's a plausible path to victory for all three of the front runners.

On the Republican side Richard Burr has nothing to worry about with 58% to 5% for Brad Jones, 4% for Eddie Burks, and 1% for Larry Linney. The 33% who remain undecided is a small source of worry not so much for the primary as for the general because it shows many Republican voters are ambivalent toward Burr, which could make it hard to make them motivated to go vote in the fall. But for May he has nothing to worry about.

Burr said last month it would be impossible for any candidate to get to the right of him, and for the most part voters within his party agree. 68% think that ideologically he is 'about right' compared to only 14% who believe he is too liberal.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Please disclosure the details of your relationship with and support for the Cunningham campaign and prior relationship with Marshall.

Full disclosure!

DAT said...

Tom, can you explain how Cunningham has a net favorability of -8%, but wins 20% of the African-American vote? Doesn't make sense since Marshall and Lewis have much higher favorables with AA's, but get less. You're the expert so maybe I'm way off base, but it seems funky to me and would account for Cunningham's sudden bump in support.

Paul said...

Quick question, does PPP rotate response options or are the candidates consistently asked alphabetically?

Anonymous said...

While Elaine Marshall, Kenneth Lewis and Cal Cunningham may be duking it out in North Carolina's Democratic Senate primary, it all appears for naught when they are matched up against the state's Incumbent Republican Richard Burr. According to Rasmussen, Burr leads Marshall 51-35 and Cunningham
51-32, with no numbers yet on Lewis. I think that this is simply another case of one Democrat prevailing against another Democrat, with little or no chance in sight for either, when the Republican candidate is thrown into the mix.

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