Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is Perdue vulnerable to a primary challenge?

Since last fall's election a lot of attention has focused on whether Gov. Bev Perdue's popularity numbers would improve significantly  and whether they would be sufficient to win reelection in 2012 especially if she faced another challenge from former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.

Now the conservative Civitas Institute, which like the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling has a good record for its polling accuracy over the past couple of years, suggests Perdue may even have a hard time winning the Democratic primary for reelection. 

Civitas sent out a news release this morning saying that fewer than a third of Democratic and unaffiliated voters would support her in a primary.

The group said, "29 percent said they would vote for Perdue if the Democratic Primary election for Governor of North Carolina were held today.  Thirty percent said they would vote for a totally different Democrat, and 35 percent said they are undecided."

“'Governor Perdue may be in trouble if she ends up with a credible primary challenger,”' said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca.  '“Support among Democratic and unaffiliated voters has dropped as unemployment stays high and job creation remains stalled.”"

 Civitas also said voters are evenly split "45 percent approving and 45 percent disapproving of her job performance.  This is up over her previous December 2010 job approval number of 44 percent approve-47 percent disapprove."

  For more information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.

 Of course, it's hard to imagine that a Democratic incumbent with as much experience as Perdue would lose in a primary for the party's nomination. For one thing, there would have to be well-financed challengers willing to take on the governor in a primary fight.  There probably will be some other Democrats in the race but so far no big-name candidates have been willing to get into the contest. And voters will have plenty of time to watch how the new Republican majority does in running the legislature for the first time since the late 1800s.

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