|Poll||Date||Sample||Johnson (R)||Kissell (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||43.8||53.2||Kissell +9.4|
|SurveyUSA||10/1 - 10/3||450 RV||45||46||Kissell +1|
|PPP (D)||1/9 - 1/11||744 LV||39||53||Kissell +14|
|2008: Kissell (D) 55%, Hayes (R) 45%||2008: Obama (D) 52%, McCain (R) 47%
|2006: Hayes (R) 50.1%, Kissell (D) 49.9%||2004: Bush (R) 54%, Kerry (D) 45%|
|2004: Hayes (R) 56%, Troutman (D) 44%||2000: Bush (R) 53%, Gore (D) 46%|
Republican Robin Hayes won North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District in 1998, only to be greeted with an unwelcome surprise four years later. Democratic redistricters removed Republican precincts and added Democratic precincts, increasing Al Gore’s 2000 percentage from 43 percent to 46 percent. The African American percentage continued to increase over the decade, and Hays finally succumbed in the massive Democratic turnout surge of 2008 to teacher Larry Kissell.
The district Kissell took over is still an R+2 district, but at the local level Democratic candidates here typically run a point or two worse here than they do in the neighboring 2nd. Unlike the 2nd, which has a preference for southern-style Democrats, this district is truly a middle-of-the-road swing district.
Despite compiling a fairly conservative voting record Kissell today finds himself in a tough race for re-election. Public Policy Polling found that Kissell leads his opponent, sportscaster Harold Johnson, by only 41-35. Johnson has pulled together about half a million dollars, while Kissell has raised only $700,000 through the end of the second quarter.