Friday, April 16, 2010

NC's Republican Leaders

The Republican leaders of North Carolina get a lot of tv airtime and newspaper mentions but despite all that few voters in the state know who they are, and those who do have an unfavorable opinion of them.

90% of North Carolinians say they have no opinion about Paul Stam or Phil Berger. 7% have an unfavorable view of each of them, with 4% saying they see Berger favorably and 3% saying the same of Stam. Digging deeper into the numbers the breakdown by party makes you wonder if the people who did claim an opinion of Stam or Berger really know who they are. That's because Berger's 4% favorability with Democrats is actually slightly better than his 3% with Republicans, while Stam gets an equal 3% from voters of both parties.

In most of the state Tom Fetzer is just as anonymous as Berger and Stam but he has higher overall name recognition because nearly half of voters in the Triangle have an opinion about him, probably dating back to his time as Mayor of Raleigh. Democrats dislike him (14%) more than Republicans like him (9%) giving him overall numbers of 8% seeing him favorably and 11% unfavorably.

Fetzer, Stam, and Berger make an awful lot of noise but it's not really seeping into the voters' consciousness. This fall's election will be an interesting test case of whether a party with no identifiable leadership can still make big gains at the polls. Republicans would probably make the case that having leaders no one's heard of is better than having unpopular ones like Barack Obama and Bev Perdue, and they may well be right about that.

Full results here

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