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Marshall leads Burr (barely) in latest campaign poll



To: Interested Parties
From: Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri
Re: Polling in the North Carolina Senate Race
Date: July 22, 2010

A recent Lake Research Partners survey of likely voters in this year’s general election shows incumbent Republican Richard Burr very weak and extremely vulnerable to defeat. Barely a third of voters view him favorably or think he is doing an excellent or good job, and only one in four are committed to reelecting him. In short, he is the most vulnerable incumbent Republican Senator in the country and this seat represents a prime pickup opportunity as Democrats seek to hold control of the Senate. Elaine Marshall is in a strong position to defeat Burr if she has the funds to competitively communicate her message.

The horserace is ominous for Burr. A month after her impressive win in the Democratic runoff, Marshall holds a slight lead with 37% compared to 35% for Burr. Libertarian candidate Mike Beitler takes 5% support and 23% of voters are undecided.

Voters have abandoned Burr and he trails in the ballot for these reasons:

• Forty-three percent of voters hold a personally unfavorable view of Senator Burr, compared to just 34% who view him favorably; and voter intensity tips toward the very unfavorable (25%) rather than the very favorable (just 11%).

• Senator Burr’s job performance ratings suffer. A whopping majority of 58% of voters believe he is doing a just fair or poor job. Only 25% believe he is doing an excellent or good job. In fact, five times as many voters (30%) believe he is doing a poor job as believe he is doing an excellent job (just 6%).

• Only a quarter of voters (25%) say they will definitely vote to reelect Senator Burr, leaving 75% of voters who will definitely vote to replace him (31%), or consider someone else or do not know (44%).

• The political environment is horrible for Senator Burr and he will have a difficult time separating himself from the disappointment voters have with Washington. Seventy-two percent of voters describe their feelings about the way things are going in the country as “concerned”, “frustrated”, or “angry”. As the previous data indicate, voters see Burr as remarkably symbolic of their disappointment.

• Furthermore, on the issues voters care about the most, Senator Burr’s job performance is lacking. Majorities of voters believe he is doing a just fair or poor job on the economy and jobs, regulating Wall Street and big banks, Social Security and retirement security, and the deficit.

In sum, Senator Burr is in deep trouble. Only a quarter of voters are willing to defend him while the plurality dislikes him and the majority believes he is doing a just fair or poor job.

In contrast to Senator Burr, Marshall carries little of the baggage that he has to endure. In a year when voters are frustrated with Washington, Marshall has credibility as an agent for change. She has a record in stark contrast to Burr, recovering money from Wall Street, protecting seniors from scam artists, and fighting for women. She is well prepared to launch an effective general election campaign. Marshall can win this race and flip this seat for Democrats if she has the resources to be competitive.

Methods: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by phone using professional interviewers. The survey was conducted among 600 registered voters in North Carolina with past participation in similar elections and who say they are likely to vote this November. The survey was conducted July 15-19, 2010. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 4 percentage points.

Full disclosure: Lake Research conducted this poll for the campaign.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Let's Hope Not...

I am know fan of Burr, but the last thing we need is another liberal in a position of power to continue to enact policies that will continue to drive jobs out of North Carolina, raise taxes, and spend money where there is no business to be spending it.

Speaking of liberals in power, so much for Beverley Perdue's promise of not taking lottery money from the education system to fund some other entitlement program. Her promise lasted what, all of 1 year?

You jest

she did not even make it through the 6 remaining months of the budget enacted during Easley's final term.

We can hope this is her final term.

This is probably

the same polling group which gave her Majesty ratings in the 40% range when jobs were leaving the state and tax refunds were not being issued.

The Senator has an overwhelming lead in fund raising and a massive campaign fund.

If she hasn't raised a couple of million by mid September or if the Annointed One comes to campaign on her behalf, her hopes are doomed.


The records confirm that Sen Burr has done an excellent job for his constituents. He will be re-elected when the voters compare the real issues this fall.

I hope that we have a big

I hope that we have a big change in DC come January. Vote all of them out. Some of these Senators should put a stop to the current bunch in the White House who are running up enormous amounts of flying time. Air Force One costs $55,000 per hour to operate. This doesn't include the security force's travel and the extra airplane carrying the president's limo. I'm sure that the former presidents abused the expense account using AF1, but the way our current administartion is in the air almost every day should be looked at by Congress. Hilliary is always in some foreign country. Obama is trying to do a state by state campaign trail, and an unreasonable number of foreign trips.

Why doesn't Congress, including Mike, try to rein in some of this waste? Every penny counts and these guys in DC should learn that there is such an invention as video-conferencing. Congress controls the purse strings!

Mike is Congress, I think. At least for now!


Hopefully Burr will be gone. The man is nothing more than a bigot and not that bright of one either...

WilMAJ, how odd that you like higher taxes

I have always thought of you as reasonably intelligent.

I have also always believed that a successful person voting for a Democrat is identical to a woman inviting a known rapist home for a few drinks.

The LAST thing this state needs is another "progressive" (code word for tyrannical Socialist) senator signing onto the Obama wealth redistribution campaign. Burr may not spur excitement, but he has a good head on his shoulders and does all he can to stop the slide toward a government-dependent voting majority, the current goal of the Democrats.

Stop voting on your one issue. Think about your wallet and the financial solvency of the country, and not only your you-know-what.

WilmingtonVAJ - Burr is a

WilmingtonVAJ - Burr is a bigot? Since when? Are you one of the 15 people who attended the Marshall fundraiser today?

Well let's see

He's anti-gay, anti-choice, pro-death penalty, pro-gun, pro-oil drilling, pro-smoking, anti-environment, and anti-healthcare. Those might not all equal bigot...true. They just equal stupid in my opinion.

Sorry for misunderstanding you

I thought you were a one-issue voter. I never before realized that you are a checklist liberal.

What BS

Well Common would you prefer a voter who votes based on a candidates good looks or their speaking ability? Do tell...what type of voter do you want voting, if not one who looks at a candidates stance on the issues important to them and vote accordingly? How do you vote? If the issues that are important to me make me a liberal, then so be it. I honestly could care less what label someone attaches to a person's beliefs.

I'd actually prefer a voter who thinks for him or herself...

...not one who simply accepts the entire party line regarding every issue. I have no problem with you opposing Burr, I was simply unaware that you stand with the Left on apparently every issue.

That's called being a checklist liberal (the opposite is called a checklist conservative.) I simply thought that you were more intelligent than that.