NC-Sen: Burr Leads Marshall By 5

Public Policy Polling (8/27-28, likely voters, 7/27-31 in parentheses):

Elaine Marshall (D): 38 (37)

Richard Burr (R-inc): 43 (39)

Michael Beitler (L): 6 (7)

Undecided: 13 (17)

(MoE: ±3.6%)

Things are looking pretty stable in the North Carolina Senate race according to PPP. Richard Burr has put a little distance between him and Elaine Marshall, with most of the movement to Burr coming out of the undecided column, as it seems like he’s finally getting better acquainted with his constituents (he’s up to only 20% “no opinion,” a Paris Hilton level of celebrity compared to where he was a year and a half ago; he has 38/42 approvals). Marshall is still laboring in obscurity by comparison, although she’s at least in positive territory, with 24/21 favorables.

The move from a 2-point Burr lead to a 5-point lead may seem like bad news, but Burr’s leads were 5, 7, and 1 in previous PPP polls, so it’s all routine movement within a narrow band. The overall regression lines are showing some mild tightening; the question is whether there’s enough time and money for Marshall to make her case in the next few months, or whether Burr can ride the national environment to another term.

49 thoughts on “NC-Sen: Burr Leads Marshall By 5”

  1. to get re-elected in North Carolina for the past 30some years is this guy.  North Carolina is still a state that Democrats can win in, so there’s still hope for Marshall to be able to get her name out there and make it a real race.  There’s also the fact that she’s at least stanched some of her poll numbers, whereas some races like MO are going the opposite direction.  Overall, the state is trending blue, and a 5pt lead really is unremarkable in a genuine swing state.  

  2. I saw a few ___(veterans/women) for Burr bumper stickers. Creepy, all-black stickers – this was in the Winston-Salem area.

    Although talking to some native North Carolinians – most people have no clue who the hell he is.

    (Disclaimer: I’ll probably be campaigning for Marshall this fall)

  3. I don’t think the DSCC should put a dime into this race, despite these numbers. I agree with PPP that Burr is the most vulnerable Republican, but his closest competition is Vitter, so that’s not saying much. I know this race seems closer than some, but here’s why I don’t think there’s an upside:

    1). Burr is a non-crazy, and pretty non-threatening candidate, not a tea party guy. It’s going to be hard to whip up the base against him.

    2).  Marshall has little money. Burr has plenty of it.

    3). There are more winnable races, even on Republican territory: Kentucky, Ohio (I know, Fischer doesn’t have money either but the state is more Democratic), N.H. (especially if someone other than Ayotte or Binnie wins), and even Alaska (where I really think Joe Miller is one of the crazier Republican nominees of the cycle, and that’s saying something)!

    4). Marshall is a weak candidate. She’s still suffering from the fact no one in the state knows her, which is not where she wants to be. Also, for those who want to make the comparison between Kay Hagan and Elaine Marshall, note that the former was leading at this time in the PPP poll, after having gradually caught up throughout the summer. In the PPP poll, she never lost the lead.

    Anyway, that’s my thoughts.  

  4. He at least had some fight in him and and this age of retail politics better “looked the part” to take on Burr.  This was progressives returning the favor for all the teabaggers working to get the weaker candidates elected.  

  5. Last poll PPP showed Marshall running a couple points behind Obama.

    This poll running four points ahead of Obama.  This is the time PPP has shown a net switch of Mccain voters to Marshall.  

    The net effect of all voter changes is 2% of McCain voters are changing their minds to choose Marshall.

    At the same time, PPP’s last poll stated there would be 0% Obama no-shows.  This time they state there will be 18% Obama no shows.  In a nutshell this shows PPP’s incredibly bizarre methodology… and should give pause to some of the rather odd comments.

    PPP is stating they find Marshall gaining ground among Mccain voters, while overnight 18% of Obama voters just decided to stay home.

    The one message that is clear is… Marshall needs to continue changing minds of some Mccain voters,and she has to minimize Obama no-shows as much as possible.  She does however have both paths to win now.

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