Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Marshall still leading in Democratic primary

Tom Jensen over at Public Policy Polling says the latest PPP numbers show that N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is still leading in (revised 4:36pm) polling for the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, but that Kenneth Lewis and Cal Cunningham are making gains on her lead in the contest to challenge what will surely be Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's first Senate reelection bid. Burr has challengers, but he's not likely to be engineered out of the GOP primary.

But in the Democratic primary, the choice is between a veteran campaigner like Marshall, the first woman elected to statewide executive branch office in North Carolina, and two attractive candidates such as Lewis and Cunningham who are making their first statewide runs. Cunningham has benefitted from national Democratic backing in the fund-raising department, and in North Carolina the best-funded candidate has a much improved change of winning. It's not a lock, but it's a big help. It's also worth noting for disclosure purposes that Dean Debnam, principal in PPP, has contributed $2,400 to Cunningham.

Here's what Jensen has to say:

"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."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

>> Elaine Marshall is still leading
>> in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary

Really? When did voting open?

Here's a tip, Jacko... POLLS AREN'T NEWS. Now get off your lazy bum and do some real reporting.

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