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« Strategy Memo: Bold Move | Blog Home Page | McConnell Still Up Big »

NC Neck And Neck

In a year in which the one thing missing is a number of good governor's races, add North Carolina to the list. For the second month in a row, a conservative think tank in the Tar Heel State released a poll showing a tight race between two candidates who made it through contentious primaries. Democrats, it appears, are going to need to play serious defense to keep outgoing Governor Mike Easley's seat, while Republicans have a real opportunity.

The poll, conducted 6/11-13 among 600 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/- 4%, and was conducted by Tel Opinion Research, a GOP firm in Alexandria, Virginia, on behalf of the Civitas Institute. Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue, the Democratic nominee, and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican standard-bearer, were tested, alongside Libertarian candidate Michael Munger.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Perdue........43 / 65 / 13 / 43 / 37 / 47
McCrory......41 / 16 / 74 / 39 / 44 / 38
Munger..........2 / 2 / 2 / 4 / 3 / 2

McCrory keeps it close with a huge lead in Charlotte, but Perdue leads every other region of the state except the very conservative western area. There could be hidden Perdue vote, though: Just 18% of poll respondents are African American, a demographic that breaks toward the Democratic nominee by a 77%-6% margin. Should turnout increase to the 21% of the population blacks in North Carolina represent, Perdue would benefit.

Still, Republicans have a very good chance to win after picking the most moderate nominee they could find. The state and national parties are taking McCrory seriously, too. The Charlotte Mayor will host President Bush today to fill his coffers for what will be an expensive fight ahead.

Update: We mistyped Libertarian candidate Michael Munger's name in the post's original version. Apologies for the typo.