RALEIGH, N.C. — While GOP gubernatorial candidate Patrick Ballantine spends most of his days shaking hands, Gov. Mike Easley's profile is much lower. He has seen more on television commericals. According to the latest
WRAL News poll
, Ballantine's approach is working, but it may not be enough.
In July, Easley held a 50 percent to 28 percent lead with 22 percent undecided. Now in a poll of more than 600 likely voters, Ballantine closed the gap, but even if he gets all the undecided voters, Easley would still win.
The governor leads in four of the state's six regions, including the Triangle and Charlotte. Ballantine wins the Republican-rich Triad and the Southeast, where he and Easley call home now.
More people know Ballantine's name since his nomination, but almost one in four voters have a negative impression of him. New numbers show Mike Easley does not need help from the national Democratic ticket.
Easley Name Recognition:
Ballantine Name Recognition:
"It's been a long time since a North Carolina Democrat has appeared on the same stage with a presidential candidate. sometimes they have, but they have done so reluctantly," said Rob Christensen, of the
News & Observer
It is clear Ballantine has a steep mountain to climb, but nothing is presumed on either side.
"Thirty-two days in politics is more than a lifetime," said Scott Falmlen, of the state Democratic party. "I don't have to tell you that, but today, I'd rather be Mike Easley than Patrick Ballantine, but that's today. That's not Oct. 15 or Nov. 2."
Easley campaign manager Jay Reiff told WRAL he is taking nothing for granted. WRAL received no offcial response from the Ballantine campaign.