Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Marshall, Cunningham closing on Burr

Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham have both gained ground on Richard Burr after building up their exposure during the Democratic primary campaign. Burr is now in a weaker position than Elizabeth Dole was at the same point in the election cycle two years ago.

Burr leads Marshall by just a single point, 43-42, and is up 44-39 on Cunningham. Dole led Kay Hagan 48-43 immediately after the primary in 2008.

The share of the vote Burr receives is virtually unchanged from a month ago, but Marshall has gained five points of support and Cunningham has gained three. Burr's early poll leads were always a little inflated because there were a lot more Democratic leaning voters, unfamiliar with their party's candidates, saying they were undecided. Now with Marshall and Cunningham becoming better known, they're each winning a larger share of the vote with Democrats and with Democratic leaning independents.

Even after their primary ad campaigns Cunningham and Marshall are mostly unknown to voters in the state. 66% don't know enough about Cunningham to have an opinion and the same is true for 57% of voters when it comes to Marshall. Cunningham's name recognition has improved by 21 points in the last month and Marshall's has by 13, but they both still have a long way to go before they become known quantities to most voters in the state.

Ultimately the race's closeness at this point has very little to do with Cunningham or Marshall and everything to do with Burr, who continues to look like a weak incumbent. Only 37% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 40% who disapprove.

It's good for Marshall and Cunningham that they're in a comparable or better position than Hagan at this point two years ago, but there's no guarantee the rest of this story will play itself out as it did in 2008. It's still shaping up as a strong election year for Republicans in North Carolina, and the turnout numbers from last week's primary suggested a lack of interest in this year's election among Democratic voters. Still it's becoming increasingly clear that Burr will not coast to victory this fall, and that regardless of who the Democratic nominee is this should be a very competitive race.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

you polling the d-runoff???

Anonymous said...

Tom, I have no reason to doubt your polls, right before an election they're very accurate, but for some reason your polls on elections that are not now, your polls have a tendency to show everything within 2-3 points, in OH, PA, IL, NC, CO, PA-12 etc. While other polls showed bigger differences between candidates to either direction.

Unknown said...

Your poll has the Democrats with a 13% advantage in voters. In 2008 they had an 11% advantage. The electorate had 42% Democrats. You have 48% Democrats. In 2004 Republicans had a 1% advantage.

So if Democrats turn out in much greater numbers than they did in 2008 and Republicans once again stay home it'll be a toss up. Considering Democratic primary turnout was down 35% from 2002 and 18% from 2004. Republicans were up 9% from 2004.

But I'm sure 48% of the electorate will be Democrats in November.

DrFrankLives said...

It's a registered voter poll. Those numbers are consistent with registration.

It's always about turnout.

Anonymous said...

If DBL's observations are right, I didn't check the pdf, then this poll is trash! Again TRASH! No way that there are more Dems in November at the polls than there were in '08. Not weighting by party has advantages, but now it screwed your poll!

Anonymous said...

Geez, looks like the local right wingers are terrified, terrified that the Republican revolution might fizzle.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Frank... the problem is, they aren't consistent with registration. SBOE puts Democrat registration at 45, not 48... and independent at 25-26, not 17. (Note: the party ID numbers in this most recent poll only add up to 99%)

Now, that may be worth only a point or two, but it should make everyone wonder what other numbers PPP is tweaking. Is the age split right? What about men v. women? African Americans? Voters v. likely voters?

Christian Liberty said...

Turnout is likely to be more pro-Republican than this sample.

Christian Liberty said...

Secretary of State Collection Effort Angers Business Owners and CPAs

Secretary of State (Elaine Marshall) sent threatening letters to 250,000 NC businesses threatening to dissolve their businesses within 60 days (in the midst of tax season). Business owners and their CPAs were furious. The entire effort struck many as a cynical attempt to fish for more revenue when NC is in budget crisis. "It's impossible to go back and prove they (were in compliance), and that feels like extortion." says one CPA. "I think the secretary of state changed the rules in the middle of the game and forgot to tell us about it." says another.


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