Local Politics

Poll: Runoff likely for Democrats to choose Burr opponent

Posted April 26, 2010

WRAL News Poll image

— A week before the North Carolina primary, about a third of voters remain undecided as to which Democrat to vote for in the U.S. Senate race, according to a new WRAL News Poll.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham are the front-runners in the six-person Democratic field, but they have only 23 and 19 percent support, respectively, a poll conducted by SurveyUSA found. Durham lawyer Ken Lewis had 10 percent support, while the other candidates scored in the single digits.

David McLennan, Peace College political science professor Prof: Lack of money leads to quiet primary

The six Democrats are vying for a chance to unseat Republican Sen. Richard Burr in November, and one candidate needs to secure at least 40 percent of the primary votes to avoid a June runoff.

Burr should breeze to victory in the Republican primary on May 4, according to the poll. Fifty-nine percent of likely GOP voters are backing Burr, while each of his three primary opponents scores no more than 6 percent support. One in four voters remains undecided.

Burr scores over 50 percent among both male and female voters, across all age brackets, education levels, incomes and regions of the state and among various political ideologies. The only categories where he scores less than 50 percent are among black and independent voters.

Meanwhile, Cunningham leads among male Democratic voters, while Marshall is stronger among females. Marshall leads among all age brackets and education levels, while Cunningham holds slight edges among conservative Democrats and lower-income voters.

Cunningham, who is from Lexington, has a sizable lead in the Piedmont Triad area, while Marshall is ahead in Charlotte. Both are fairly even in Raleigh and down east.

SurveyUSA polled 520 likely Republican voters and 511 likely Democratic voters over the weekend. The GOP poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points, while the margin of error for the Democratic poll is 4.4 points.

The firm also surveyed 2,544 North Carolina adults to get their feedback on Congress and the U.S. and state economies. That poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.

Almost three-quarters of those polled said they disapprove of the job Congress is doing, while 20 percent approved. Black residents were evenly split in their support or distaste for Congress, but all other categories were firmly in the anti-lawmaker camp.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said they believe the country is on the wrong track, compared with 31 percent who said the nation is headed in the right direction. Respondents who identified themselves as black, Democratic or liberal were the only categories where a majority said the U.S. was on the right track.

About a third of those surveyed said the North Carolina economy would be weaker than it is now, while another third said it would be about the same. Twenty-six percent said they think the economy will improve in the coming months.

Females, people age 65 and older, Democrats, blacks and liberals offered more optimistic outlooks on the state economy than other respondents.


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  • bradcooperisinnocent May 4, 2010

    withdrawl money? What's that mean?

  • JustAName Apr 27, 2010

    Eddie Burks is an alternative to Burr.

  • archmaker Apr 27, 2010

    sorry - can't consider burr. just to be spiteful and protest 'obamacare,' he had high level military meetings cancelled even though top generals had come all the way from korea to testify. i don't care what you think about healthcare, don't put our military or our safety into the mix.

    also, i don't care for the fact that on the friday evening of the financial meltdown, he was on the phone getting his wife to withdrawl money from the atm. if it were stocks, they'd put him in martha's jail for insider information.

  • james27613 Apr 26, 2010

    Consider supporting Sen Burr, he is against the Obama-Care disaster.

    Have questions on how Sen. Burr stands, drop him a call or email and you get a quick response, not a canned email like other elected officials use (Sen Hagen and Rep Price).
    They never let you know how or where they stand, just tell you they will think about your idea or comment.

    'When i get there I will let you know' Sen Hagen

    I'm still waiting Sen Hagen!

  • ykm Apr 26, 2010

    We should have a cage match.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Apr 26, 2010

    It should be an easy choice: No democrat is worth voting for, as we've seen the past year and a half!

    BTW...tomorro puts Obama's daya in office under 4 digits!! (999)

  • unc70 Apr 26, 2010

    Where is this alleged Dem mudslinging, by any of the Dem candidates in this race?

    Elaine Marshall has been elected and re-elected statewide in NC (including beating Richard Petty in one race). I can't remember her involved (giving or receiving) mudslinging in any of those races. I will go back and check again, but she has not been tainted by such claims or those of corruption so easily bandied about these days.

  • prn13norm Apr 26, 2010

    The Democrats may as well just flip a coin. All of their candidates are clones of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

  • wral mods blow close my account Apr 26, 2010

    "Burr should breeze to victory in the Republican primary on May 4"

    Sad the tea party can't run someone against Burr. He has not done anything for NC. He even voted for the first bail out bill. Now he's against Wall Street reform.

  • tommys5 Apr 26, 2010

    Old Chinese proverb once said. Six fools and their money shall soon be parted.