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September 10, 2008

Dem Poll Shows Tight Tarheel Races

Democratic hopes of winning the presidential, governor and Senate trifecta in North Carolina are more than a pipe dream, a new poll for Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue shows. All three races at the top of the ticket remain close, according to the survey.

The poll, conducted for Perdue's campaign by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, surveyed 605 likely voters between 9/5-7. In the governor's race, Perdue and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican nominee, were tested. For Senate, incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole was matched up against State Senator Kay Hagan. The sample included 46% self-identified Democrats, 35% self-identified Republicans and 19% independent or other party voters.

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In the survey memo, Fred Yang, one of the most respected North Carolina pollsters in Democratic politics, writes that Republicans are actually oversampled. Party registration figures with the Secretary of State's office show 45.3% of voters are registered Democrats, 32.7% are registered Republicans and the remaining 22% are affiliated with neither major party.

Republicans may point out that a poll conducted for a Democrat will be biased in favor of that candidate, but the numbers reflect others that show neck-and-neck contests. Democratic groups have spent more money advertising on behalf of Perdue and Hagan than Republican groups have on behalf of their candidates, contributing to those tight races.

An interesting side note: Perdue, a long-time presence in state politics, will be on the ballot as "Bev Perdue," using the shortened version of her first name. As far as we can tell, Yang is the only pollster to have tested her that way instead of as "Beverly."