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August 21, 2008

Race Static In NC

The candidates are on television, they've met for a debate and independent groups are running their own ads. So why is the race for North Carolina Governor so static? According to a new poll, neither nominee is having a lot of success winning over voters.

The poll, conducted by Republican firm TelOpinion Research for the Civitas Institute, surveyed 600 registered voters between 8/14-17 for a margin of error of +/- 4.2%. Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue, the Democratic nominee, and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican choice, were tested, along with Libertarian Michael Munger.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Perdue.........43 / 67 / 11 / 43 / 44 / 42 (no change from last, 7/16)
McCrory.......41 / 18 / 78 / 31 / 42 / 41 (+1)
Munger...........3 / 2 / 1 / 6 / 3 / 3 (+1)

The race has remained essentially unchanged since May, when both Perdue and McCrory won their respective nominations. Both candidates are up with their own advertisements, but two Democratic-leaning unions have spent heavily with ads slamming McCrory, leaving observers in both parties surprised that the numbers haven't moved more.

McCrory has a big 53%-29% lead in his hometown Charlotte, as well as a smaller lead in the Republican-leaning Western half of the state. Offsetting those gaps are large Perdue margins among voters in the heavily Democratic Research Triangle, where she leads 59%-27%, and the northeastern part of the state.

The two candidates debated for the first time on Tuesday, but it's unlikely that meeting will cause many to change their minds, as it was competing for television viewers with the Olympics and a town hall meeting featuring Barack Obama. Neither candidate seriously goofed.