North Carolina’s incumbent Democratic governor, Bev Perdue, swept into office in 2008 by the narrowest of margins, undoubtedly propelled by the unusual level of enthusiasm for Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. Almost ever since then, though, her poll numbers have been poor, and in head-to-heads with likely rematch opponent Pat McCrory (the former mayor of Charlotte), she’s usually trailed by double digits:
All the data points in the above graph are from PPP, but they were confirmed by a recent SurveyUSA poll (PDF) for the Civitas Institute. At least a couple of Democrats last cycle who couldn’t escape numbers like this bailed rather than seek re-election – Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut for one, and Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado for another. In both cases, they were replaced by more popular candidates (Dick Blumenthal and John Hickenlooper, respectively) who went on to win handily.
Both Ritter and Dodd didn’t announce their retirements until January 2010, so perhaps we’re a bit early in asking this question. But at SSP, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve, so I’m putting these questions to all of you: Do you think Perdue could be persuaded not to seek a second term? Do you think she should be? And if she could be prevailed upon not to run again, who could take her place for Team Blue?
UPDATE: Now with poll! I went through the comments and pulled out every plausible name suggested, so go ahead and vote for your favorite. (The poll includes the incumbent.)