NC-Sen: Burr Under 50 Against All Comers

Public Policy Polling (PDF) (5/19-21, “North Carolina voters,” Shuler trendlines from January). I’ve put each of the Dem candidates’ favorables in brackets.

Elizabeth Edwards (D): 35

Richard Burr (R-inc): 46

Walter Dalton (D): 29 [24-29]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 48

Dan Blue (D): 33 [24-31]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 44

Richard Moore (D): 34 [36-25]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 47

Bob Etheridge (D): 31 [31-27]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 47

Heath Shuler (D): 28  (28) [25-25]

Richard Burr (R-inc): 44 (39)

Cal Cunningham (D): 34 [46-16] ‡

Richard Burr (R-inc): 42

(MoE: ±3.5%)

‡ Cal Cunningham is a one-term state Senator & Iraq veteran (more here). PPP tested him using a positive two-sentence bio as a lead-in, to compensate for his otherwise low name rec – hence the high favorables. A February poll without the bio showed Cunningham with a 10-23 approval rating (sort of odd, huh?), but still holding Burr to a 46-27 margin.

Here’s how Tom Jensen of PPP sums up the situation:

Pulling together all the information we have, here’s the state of the race: when Roy Cooper decided not to run Democrats lost the only candidate who would have made this an instant tossup. But Richard Burr is still in a vulnerable position pretty comparable to where Elizabeth Dole found herself at this time two years ago. But whoever the Democratic standard bearer ends up being will have to be molded into a formidable candidate, as Hagan was, rather than just inherently starting out as one.

Now Democrats are going to have to make a choice – do they get a Shuler or McIntyre who have big bank accounts and a good position from which to raise more or do they go more towards a Cunningham who might need more help raising money but can run as an outsider in an election cycle where not having any Washington taint could be a very good thing? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

That sounds about right to me.

NC-Sen: DSCC Looking at Four Potential Recruits

With Roy Cooper out of the running for the Democratic nomination against GOP non-entity Richard Burr, CNN reports that the DSCC is putting out feelers to four potential candidates — including one who previously passed on the race:

Still, the DSCC – which is otherwise staying mum on the recruitment process – is taking four Democratic candidates seriously at the moment, according to a committee source.

Their top candidates are, in no particular order: Rep. Heath Shuler, the former NFL quarterback and second term congressman from western North Carolina’s 11th district; Rep. Bob Etheridge from the Raleigh-area second district; former state Treasurer Richard Moore, who lost in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary last year; and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton.

Shuler, who declined to run for this race back in March, has been receiving encouragement to reconsider the race from Dem groups in DC and North Carolina, according to a spokesperson.

Aside from Shuler, who brings a unique strength in western NC to a hypothetical race, the DSCC appears to looking at candidates with a statewide track record first, and they have a lot to choose from here. Dalton, a former state senator, won the Lt. Governor’s race by a five-point margin in 2008, while Etheridge served for two terms as NC’s Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1988-1996. (Additionally, Etheridge’s Raleigh-area district, which Obama carried last fall, would be an easier hold for Democrats than Shuler’s or Mike McIntyre’s seats.) However, Etheridge is getting a bit long in the tooth for someone looking to join the Senate — he’ll be 69 years old by election day in 2010.

For more details on the long list of potential nominees, the Winston-Salem Journal has a brief rundown on the DSCC’s top four choices and many other possible recruits.

(H/T: Political Wire)

SSP Daily Digest: 2/26

We’re going to try out a new feature for weekday afternoons here at Swing State Project: four or five links to various items that we want to get out there but don’t feel like investing a diary’s worth of effort on. Enjoy the bullet points! (We encourage you to add your own bullet points in the comments, and otherwise treat this as an open thread.)

UT-Sen: Daily Kos polls the 2010 Utah Senate race, where the action appears to be in the primary, but Bob Bennett looks safe for another 6 years. Bennett beats David Leavitt 44-23 in the primary, and, in the general, manhandles Rep. Jim Matheson 55-32 and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings 57-21, not that we should expect either of them to run.

OH-Sen: A third Dem has jumped into the primary field for the 2010 Senate race: state representative Tyrone Yates. He doesn’t have the stature of Fisher or Brunner, but as the only African-American and only Cincinnati-area candidate, he may well complicate things.

WA-08: The first Dem challenger has announced, and it’s another wealthy ex-Microsoft executive, Suzan DelBene. Don’t look for her to have the field to herself this time, though.

MN-Sen: In an indication that the Coleman camp has exhausted every possible legal argument that can win in court, he’s moved onto arguing that it was basically a tie so let’s just have a do-over election. Not the kind of thing that someone who has a hope of winning in court ever says.

Census: The Congressional Black Caucus is pushing the White House to keep the Census within its portfolio even though reliable Dem Gary Locke will now be taking over at Commerce.

Blogospheria: Blogger brainpower (including Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald, Markos Moulitsas, and Nate Silver) and union bucks come together in the new Accountability Now PAC. The goal is to pressure (and where there’s a good target, primary) bad Dems and create more space for good Dems to maneuver on the left.

RI-01: Republican state representative John Loughlin is strongly considering a suicide mission against challenge to Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy got 69% against no-names in his last two elections, but apparently his approval ratings are softening.

HI-01: In another district where you might be surprised to know there’s an elected Republican, Honolulu city councilor Charles Djou has announced his candidacy for HI-01, which is expected to be vacated by Neil Abercrombie as he goes for governor. Djou claims the endorsement of every Republican in Hawaii’s legislature (all 7 of them).

NC-Sen: Former state treasurer, and gubernatorial primary loser, Richard Moore won’t be getting involved in the Dem primary to take on Richard Burr in 2010. The field looks clearer for AG Roy Cooper.

NC-Sen: Cooper and Moore Poll Close To Burr

Research 2000 for Daily Kos (1/5-7, likely voters):

Roy Cooper (D): 43

Richard Burr (R-inc): 45

Richard Moore (D): 40

Richard Burr (R-inc): 46

(MoE: ±4%)

If you were to ask me, I’d point to Richard Burr as the Republicans’ most endangered incumbent Senator in 2010. He’s kind of a back-bench non-entity up for his first re-election, he made it into office in a strongly Republican year (2004) against an underwhelming opponent (Erskine Bowles), and North Carolina underwent a pretty dramatic blue shift in 2008, although that may dissipate a bit by 2010.

So it’s nice to have some polling data to support my intuition. Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Attorney General who was just re-elected by a convincing margin, polls very well against Burr, losing by only two points. R2K also tests Richard Moore, the former Treasurer who lost the 2008 gubernatorial primary to then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue, who doesn’t poll quite as well (perhaps he’s still tarnished from that acrimonious primary). However, six points back from an incumbent two years out is still a fairly good place to be, too.

Burr’s favorables are only 47 favorable/46 unfavorable, while Cooper’s are 41/21 and Moore is at 37/27, which looks especially nice for Cooper. While media speculation tends to focus on Cooper, it’s not entirely sure whether Cooper will get into the race, and there are a few other top-tier Dems seemingly mulling the race (Rep. Brad Miller comes to mind, as well as Rep. Heath Shuler). But this race easily looks to be a Tossup with Cooper in it (and probably even with Moore or Miller instead).

NC-Gov: Democrats lead (Rasmussen)

Rasmussen is showing some good news for Democrats in North Carolina – both Richard Moore and Beverly Purdue are leading Republican Pat McCrory by 4-5%.

North Carolina Gubernatorial Election
Richard Moore (D) 39%
Pat McCrory (R) 34%
North Carolina Gubernatorial Election
Beverly Perdue (D) 42%
Pat McCrory (R) 38%

This shows improvement over December’s poll:

In December, McCrory on top in both match-ups by an identical 42% to 39% margin. That survey was conducted prior to McCrory’s official announcement to run in the election.

Anyone here know how reapportionment works in North Carolina? If we maintain our hold on the Governor’s mansion and the state legislature, can we squeeze an advantage here after the 2010 Census?