Local News

WRAL Poll: Race For U.S. Senate Almost Dead Heat

Posted September 30, 2004 10:13 a.m. EDT

— U.S. Senate candidates Erskine Bowles and Richard Burr are in a full court press. Two months ago, a WRAL News poll gave Bowles a commanding 10 point lead. After the

latest poll

, new numbers show only one point separates the two candidates with 11 percent undecided.

Senate Vote:

More than 600 likely voters were interviewed for the latest poll before and after Monday's debate.

Across the state, Bowles has a strong lead in the Triangle, his home region of Charlotte and southeastern North Carolina. Burr looks good in his home region of the Triad, as well as the Northeast and the mountains.

GOP leaders credit the tightening races to several Burr ads that prominently feature Bowles and former president Bill Clinton.

"He served as his chief of staff and Bill Clinton was not particularly popular in North Carolina," said state Republican Party leader Bill Peaslee.

Peaslee believes the Clinton factor is significant.

"The values of that administration are still there," he said.

Bowles is now fighting back with his own attack ads. He campaigned Thursday in Charlotte. He told WRAL through e-mail he expects the race to get ugly over the next month and added " one thing is for sure... this will be an extremely close race that will come down to one or two points."