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Marshall Releases Poll, Gets Visit From Biden

North Carolina Democrat Elaine Marshall released the results of a new internal poll that found the four-term secretary of state leading incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr by 2 points. That's well within the margin of error, but more to the point was that Burr was held to 35 percent and that nearly a quarter of voters had yet to make up their minds.

The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners, a firm that conducts polling for Democratic candidates, from July 15-19 among 600 likely voters with a 4-point margin of error. It found Burr to not only have a low job approval rating, but also found a plurality of voters view him unfavorably.

The most recent public polls on the race were released two weeks ago and both found Burr leading by double digits. He leads by 10 points in the RCP Average.

In a memo announcing the results, Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri conclude: "Marshall can win this race and flip this seat for Democrats if she has the resources to be competitive."

So far, money remains a major hurdle for Marshall, who was forced into a seven-week runoff after failing to win 40 percent of the vote in the primary. The extended primary left Marshall with less than $200,000 at the end of June. Burr has more than $6 million.

Although the White House initially attempted to recruit other candidates to the race and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee backed Marshall's runoff opponent, Cal Cunningham, Democrats in Washington see an opportunity in North Carolina and are getting behind Marshall's bid.

Marshall held a fundraiser last night that featured Vice President Biden, the top Democratic campaign surrogate in 2010. The event was small -- limited to 15 people -- but it made a clear statement that the White House is willing to help out.

"There is a clear choice in this North Carolina election between a woman who knows what drive [forward] means and somebody who clearly is continuing to be backwards," Biden told the crowd, which included Gov. Bev Perdue.