Etheridge leading Democratic primary field in poll

Posted February 8, 2012

— Former Congressman Bob Etheridge is the early leader among Democrats seeking the nomination for governor, although more than a third of likely voters remain undecided, according to polls released Wednesday.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 400 Democratic voters over the weekend and found that 33 to 41 percent haven't made up their minds about who they will support in the May 8 primary.

Etheridge, who entered the face last week, has built a lead mostly on name recognition in eastern North Carolina, according to PPP.

Election 2012 Name recognition gives Etheridge early lead

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Orange County Rep. Bill Faison are the only other declared candidates in the Democratic primary. Wake County Sen. Dan Blue, 13th District Congressman Brad Miller, 7th District Congressman Mike McIntyre and former State Treasurer Richard Moore are still weighing runs.

If all seven candidates competed in the primary, Etheridge right now would have a 21-13 percent margin over Blue, with Dalton garnering 10 percent and the rest of the field in single digits, according to the poll. Among the three declared candidates, Etheridge leads Dalton by a 30-24 percent margin, with Faison at 6 percent.

Miller and Blue would shake up the current field the most, the poll shows, although each would start out in third place, with 11 percent support among respondents. If either entered the race and made it a four-man field, Etheridge would lead Dalton by a 24-20 percent margin, the poll shows.

Etheridge's early success is driven by regional strength in the Triangle and eastern North Carolina, according to the poll. Among the three current candidates, he leads Dalton 42-20 percent in the Triangle, 35-16 percent in southeastern North Carolina and 34-12 percent in northeastern North Carolina.

None of the candidates has extensive name recognition. Etheridge is the best known at 50 percent, followed by Miller and Dalton at 41 percent, Blue and Moore at 40 percent, McIntyre at 31 percent and Faison at 29 percent.

"The state of the race could change quite a bit as voters become more familiar with the candidates," PPP Director Tom Jensen said. "Etheridge is the early favorite to the extent there is one, but a lot can change in the next three months."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • DadRBad Feb 14, 2012

    Mr. 'Ethicsridge' was a terrible Representative for my district for years....and contrary to what many are saying, he did not lose out the Ellmers because of his actions with a camera crew. He lost, purely and simply, because he DID NOT REPRESENT the people of his District. He would make a TERRIBLE governor...isn't NC in enough trouble without another DO NOTHING POLITICIAN trying to be Governor???

  • Rico Feb 9, 2012

    If Bob wins Bev will become education czar...

  • SmokeWagon Feb 8, 2012

    I can just see it now....Nomobama, Joe "da dunce" Biden and Bob "who are u" Etheridge all standing together, holding hands and singing Kum Bah Ya down in Charlotte on the podium at THEIR fat, rich, banking buddies stadium....!!!! What a bunch of "winners" you liberal entitlement democrats have carefully selected to lead you...!!!!!!!

  • jet2rdu Feb 8, 2012

    Since it appears that Bob Etheridge still can't retire at 70 even after earning hefty NC and Federal pensions, why would any clear thinking NC taxpayer trust that he can competently lead this state with fiscal responsibility for a budget of over 19 Billion Dollars? Must be that never ending spending other peoples money is his heritage. ?RU Bob?

  • jdupree Feb 8, 2012

    I think he is leading them to Nancy Pelosi's cocktail party so they can find out "Who are You". Oh no, he was comming from that party when he got filmed making that famous statement. If he is the best in NC then Democrats are in trouble!

  • Rebelyell55 Feb 8, 2012

    Registered independent will need to pass up on the Dem. primary and focus on the Republican's primary. It's important for who will be running on the national level.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Feb 8, 2012

    If his state position recieved federal funding he would be barred from running for partisan office. I have no idea if his position is federally funded.

  • wral mods blow close my account Feb 8, 2012

    You could not even beat Ellmers. Please go away.

  • heisenberg Feb 8, 2012

    This guy has been living off the taxpayers for 40 years. Get a real job - or better yet, give it up dude - you're 70 years old. Time to move on.

  • pappybigtuna1 Feb 8, 2012

    Is ethridge on the state payroll while he is running for office? Is that not stealing from the people?
    He voted for the obama care tax, great leader.

    Perdue gave him a job,100K a year, if by some miracle he became Governor what is the payback to perdue?

    What next, assult some elementary school kid?