Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Burr lead goes back up

The post-primary bounce Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham received against Richard Burr has receded and the incumbent now leads them by 7 and 11 points respectively. That's up from a 1 point lead over Marshall and a 5 point one over Cunningham a month ago.

The Democratic contenders have been off the airwaves for more than a month now and as a result their name recognition, already low, has actually declined. Marshall dropped from 44% of voters having an opinion of her a month ago to now 37% and Cunningham's gone from 34% to 26%.

This development is in line with what happened in the 2008 Senate contest. Kay Hagan pulled to within 5 points of Elizabeth Dole immediately after the primary but after being back out of the spotlight for a month saw her deficit against Dole increase to 8 points by early June.

Voter perceptions of Burr remain relatively unchanged. For the fourth month in a row more North Carolinians disapprove than approve of the job he's doing- 37% give him more poor marks to 35% pleased with his performance.

There are two main places to point to where Burr's standing has improved. He's now up by 13 points with independents against both Democrats, after just having a single digit lead in May. And he's benefiting from the fact that there are a lot more undecided Democrats than Republicans. In the Marshall match 20% of Democrats haven't made up their minds to 7% of Republicans and in the Cunningham one that widens to 25% of Democrats undecided and just 9% of GOP voters. The race will likely tighten again as we move toward the fall and most of those voters come home to support their party's nominee.

The big picture on this race stays the same- Burr is unpopular but his opponents aren't well known enough yet to fully capitalize on his vulnerability. The eventual nominee's ability to seize the spotlight- and stay in it- will determine whether Democrats can pull the upset this fall.

Full results here


mf1urice said...

I think Burr's numbers will start to come down once this contest is fully engaged. Right now voters aren't paying attention and Burr's support in the state, in my opinion, is quite soft. He is no Jesse Helms. So, Republicans should be worried.

Unknown said...

While Democratic undecideds may break for Marshall, but Burr is getting three times as many Democrats than Marshall is getting Republicans. If she doesn't woo them back she'd done.

John said...

When will you release the 2012 national numbers? I'm really looking forward to them.

Please release them today! Wanna know if Huck is still going strong. If nothing else, could you at least give us like a hint? :)

Anonymous said...

Tom, I honestly don't understand why you're so convinced that Burr is going to lose in the end! 2010 in no way resembles '08. It might just be pure feel-good run from reality illusions.

wt said...

Hah. Sorry for the schadenfreude, but the image of Democratic voters forgetting the candidates they once knew is pretty humorous.

Christian Liberty said...

Internals look even more pro-Burr:

NC is more approving of Burr (35/37) than Hagan (34/39). Among the 2008 vote for "someone else/don't remember" (which may be most undecided and persuadable) Burr is much more popular (32/37) than Hagan (16/35). This suggests that those who disapprove of Burr want a representative further to the right, and do not want a Democrat. (Especially not a corrupt voting fraud-enabling Soros-funded Secretary of State Project Democrat.) And those who know enough to have an opinion of Cunningham also do not approve of him (12/13).

The "someone else/don't know" vote favors Burr by 20 over Cunningham and by 10 over Marshall. If SE/DK is a proxy for persuadables, they are even more pro-Burr than the electorate as a whole. (Or this could also show that 2010's electorate will be more conservative and/or more pro-R/anti-D than 2008's voters.)

Cunningham is not only net unfavorable with likely voters as a whole, but with moderates as well.

Independents favor Burr over either Marshall or Cunningham by 13 (46-33)

Christian Liberty said...

PPP shows Marshall down 7 (39-46) and Cunningham down 11 (35-46). But Rasmussen has Cunningham (35-47) closer to Burr than Marshall (36-50).
Rasmussen has Burr growing his lead over Marshall (from 8 a month ago to 14 this month) while Burr giving ground to Cunningham (Burr led by 13 a month ago and now only 12). PPP has Burr's lead growing over both candidates.
PPP has Marshall the stronger candidate both this month and last month, but Rasmussen has Marshall slipping and shows Cunningham may be the stronger candidate.
Hard to say who would be have a better chance in November.

Anonymous said...

Rasmussen on 6/3 had Burr over Marshall by 50-36 (+13)and Cunningham 47-35 (+12). The same poll has Burr with an (strongly held) approval rating of 22/15 versus 16/16 for Marshall and 8/15 for Cunningham. North Carolinians also favor repeal of the recently passed national health care bill by 59/34 and support having a similar law like Arizona's in their own state by a 2 to 1 margin. My money's on Burr in what I see as a "cake walk".

Christian Liberty said...

Anonymous has a good point:

Rasmussen: Those who have strong opinions are favorable to Burr. Burr has more favorability (22/15) than Marshall (16/16) or Cunningham (8/15).
The overall negative opinion of Burr comes from those who apparently do not hold that opinion strongly. And even then, Burr is seen more favorably than Hagan (34/39) or Perdue (28/52 Apr 15 PPP).

The most recent PPP poll on the question found that (at the state level) NC voters TRUST Republicans more than Democrats (41-39) and plan to VOTE FOR Republicans rather than Democrats (45-42).

The Republican brand is stronger in NC than the headline of the Burr matchup polls would suggest.

Christian Liberty said...

In 2008, Hagan bounced back from an 8 point deficit -- in a pro-Democrat year -- in a presidential year.

In 2010, Cunningham/Marshall would have to come back from a 7-11 point deficit (PPP) or a 12-14 point deficit (RR) --- in a pro-Republican year -- in a midterm year.

In 2010, Democrats have a much heavier lift. Don't get your hopes up too much.

Ranjit said...

Also, in 2008 there was lot of turn out for president and they did a straight democratic ticket. Hagan was a big beneficiary of that aspect. Also, the mood was sour against republicans. All these factors are totally absent and also senator burr is building a nice ground game at the county levels throughout the state.

PackMan97 said...

Given how unhappy folks are with Kay "Budget Expert" Hagan, I really doubt a Democrat wins this seat.

Everyone is fed up with what is going on in Washington and while Burr isn't a solution, he's guaranteed not to make the problem worse. Marshall and Cunningham will just rubber stamp whatever Obama wants and that will be bad for this nation.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Among the 2008 vote for "someone else/don't remember" (which may be most undecided and persuadable) Burr is much more popular (32/37) than Hagan (16/35)."

That category is so small that its margin of error is over 15%. You can't draw meaningful conclusions from such a small subsample. Stats swing wildly within such demographics from poll to poll.

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