Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PPP: Perdue gains, still behind McCrory

Public Policy Polling reports in its latest poll that Gov. Bev Perdue is pulling closer to Republican Pat McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor who's probably running for governor again.  Perdue's numbers -- found to be weak in the Democratic primary in a Civitas poll yesterday -- are better in a head-to-head contest with McCrory. She's behind him by 7 points, but she has recently gained 5 points, PPP's Tom Jensen reports, but she'd still lose if the election were today. But the election isn't today, and it's a long time until next year's election -- about 22 months, but in politics that's several lifetimes away.

Jensen notes, "If she's gained five points on McCrory in two months, well out from the election, then it's certainly possible that she could make up the other seven in the next 21 months. It's not going to be easy by any means but it's too early to write her off."

Here's what PPP said in a news release:

Bev Perdue continues to trail Pat McCrory in a hypothetical reelection contest, but as her approval numbers have improved over the last few months she's beginning to close the gap a little bit. McCrory leads by 7 points at 47-40. That represents a five point gain for Perdue since she trailed by 12 in a November PPP poll at 49-37.

The biggest key to Perdue's improvement is a resurgence with independents. Where she trailed McCrory by 31 points with them a couple months ago that margin is now down to 10 points. Independents were strongly supportive of the government reorganization plans that Perdue put forward to much attention a month ago and the Governor is also probably benefiting from a general warming toward Democrats from those voters since the beginning of the year. Numerous recent polls have found Barack Obama with his best numbers among independents since early in his Presidency.

Perdue's 10 point deficit with independents is actually almost identical to the 7 point loss with them we found on our final North Carolina poll in 2008. The main reason Perdue is running poorly compared to the last election is mediocre numbers with Democrats. She leads only 65-21 with them right now where she had an 80-17 advantage the last time around. Perdue's lackluster approval numbers since she took office can be blamed more than anything else on her relatively poor standing with Democrats. Finding a way to keep the party base in line over the next 21 months is probably the key to her winning a second term.

Meanwhile McCrory continues to be well liked at least with the voters that still know who he is. A plurality in the state at 45% have no opinion of him either way but among those who do 33% rate him favorably to 22% who see him unfavorably. His favorability runs 4:1 positive with Republicans at 43/11 and impressively there are almost as many Democrats- 26%- with a positive opinion of him as a negative one- 27%. A few rounds of negative advertising would likely plunge his favorability numbers across party lines pretty darn quick, but at least for now he's doing well on that front.

If the election was today Perdue would lose, pretty much no doubt about that. But it's not and I think some folks have been a little quick to write her political obituary. If she's gained five points on McCrory in two months, well out from the election, then it's certainly possible that she could make up the other seven in the next 21 months. It's not going to be easy by any means but it's too early to write her off.

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Anonymous said...

Why do you consider polls to be news?

Brian said...

I don't know how anyone who has heard Bev Perdue speak can vote for her. The woman sounds like a moron. Just listen to her quotes from the ABC privatization debate, she sounds like an uneducated idiot. I guess the hardcore Democrats will vote for anyone and she's their puppet for now.

LisaDiane said...

It's easy to "approve" of a dog, when it's on a chain or behind a fence, stuck on it's own property....once it's loose, tearing up your garbage, destroying your lawn and using the bathroom everywhere, it's "approval" rate goes way down.
So too with the Democrats - of course they are looking better to that they are reigned in by Republican majorities, they are contrite and suddenly interested in bipartisanship - chained up and behind their fences, so to speak.

But don't be fooled, voters -- if they are allowed to roam free again, they will be right back to digging up your lawn, tearing up your trash, and using the bathroom everywhere.

Anonymous said...

The fact that she's behind a candidate -- from Charlotte -- who is out of the public eye, was a mayor in a weak mayoral system, before his own party has had any opportunity to make any kind of impact, is a testament to just how strong his position is.

Anonymous said...

If Pat "I would sell my mom's soul to the devil just to get elected' McCrory becomes governor, the Old North State will be in for trouble. Lots of it.