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WRAL Poll: U.S. Senate Race Coming Down To Wire

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Both Erskine Bowles and Richard Burr expected a close U.S. Senate race and it looks like both were right. A new

WRAL News poll

, conducted by Mason-Dixon, shows both candidates have 45 percent of the vote. Another 10 percent are still undecided.

Senate Vote:

Both candidates are now aggressively going after those voters.

"We are going to talk about the issues that matter to North Carolinians," said Carlos Monje, of the Bowles campaign.

"Not only is he [Burr] reaching out for Republicans. The message he is putting out now is for conservative Democrats and independents, and I think he's connecting with them," said Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, who is also co-chairman for the Burr campaign in Wake County.

Each candidate has seen a signficant jump in unfavorable name recognition. Bowles is up 7 percentage points from a month ago while Burr is up 11 points, but his unfavorable name recognition is still lower than Bowles.

Bowles Name Recognition:

Burr Name Recognition:

Some question whether negative ads are a factor.

"Richard Burr is putting all sorts of filth on the airwaves. Most of it is unfounded. A lot is based on pure outright lies," Monje said.

"I think he's got to let people know what's happened in the past," Harrison said. "If Bowles was connected with Clinton, he should let people know that, but the main thing is Burr has to stick with his message that he is going to work hard for North Carolinians."

With a strong showing in the big cities, Bowles has more than 1,000 volunteers going door to door in outlying areas. Burr, who trails in Charlotte and Raleigh, will spend time in both cities next week.