Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Not good news for Democrats in Senate runoff

-There's not much good news for Democrats in Public Policy Polling's latest findings on the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina. A post-primary bump in name recognition and popularity that Democratic leader Elaine Marshall and runner-up Cal Cunningham enjoyed has disappeared and negative ratings have increased.

That spells trouble in the fall campaign for Democrats' hopes of turning out of office freshman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. But Burr has some problems of his own -- more voters disapprove of the job he doing than approve, though it's a narrow margin, PPP said.  Still, Burr beats either Marshall or Cunningham in a head-to-head match in a survey taken over the weekend.

The company posted results that show Burr beating Marshall 46 percent to 39 percent with 16 percent undecided, and beating Cunningham 46 percent to 35 percent with 19 percent undecided.

The lack of name recognition obviously hurts, and no one expects a big turnout for the June 22 primary runoff between Cunningham, a former state senator, and Marshall, the N.C. secretary of state. The margin of error was +/-3.9 percent.

"Voter turnout is typically lower in run-off elections as voter interest decreases," said  PPP. "But both Cunningham and Marshall need to rally voters to wage a successful campaign against Republican Senator Richard Burr."

Marshall led the primary voting but could not win the minimum 40 percent vote to avoid a runoff. Some Democrats hoped Cunningham would not call for a runoff and allow Marshall to concentrate on challenging Burr.  But Burr has amassed a large re-election fund of $10 million, and although his approval ratings are mediocre, the money he has available to put on a media campaign is a daunting sum to Democrats.

Burr occupies a Senate seat that has turned over in every election since Sen. Sam Ervin, D-N.C., chose not to run for re-election in 1974.  But Burr looks to be the first incumbent to be able to hang on to that seat in modern state history.

Tuesday afternoon, NC Democratic Party Executive Director issued the following:

“The fact that Richard Burr’s campaign is trumpeting a poll that says barely one in three voters approve of his job performance shows just how out of touch with reality they are. What’s more, the poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling, the same firm that Burr’s top consultant previously accused of having an ‘agenda’ and being biased when he didn’t like their results. Burr may think he’s entitled to have it his both ways when it comes to public polling, but no pollster is going to be able to help him on Nov. 2, when North Carolinians fire him with cause.”


Sid said...

Hope they hold on for a good long time :)

dover said...

As always, those with the largest fighting fund tend to have an advantage.