Civitas Poll: Burr Leads Marshall by 8

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Raleigh, N.C. – Incumbent US Senator Richard Burr leads potential Democratic challenger NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall by eight percentage points according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.

According to the live caller poll of 600 likely voters, if the election for US Senate were held today, 40 percent of the voters would select Burr, 32 percent would chose Marshall.  28 percent were undecided.

“Senator Burr continues to maintain a comfortable lead over his potential Democratic challenger,” said Civitas Institute executive director Francis De Luca. “Throughout our polling this year he has maintained a lead outside the margin of error against any of the announced candidates.”

Despite Burr’s current lead, the Senate race remains one that could become competitive.  When voters were asked generically if they would vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate for US Senate, Democrats held a one point lead (40% – 39%).

“Burr holds his lead due to his solid support from the Republican base and a sizeable lead among unaffiliated voters,” added De Luca.  “Marshall is lagging behind currently because she has not convinced Democratic base voters that she is the right choice.”

This poll was taken Dec. 1-3, before Cal Cunningham’s announcement that he would enter the race.

The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more polling information on Civitas polling see

Full text of questions:

If the election for US Senate were held today and the candidates were Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Elaine Marshall, for whom would you vote?  If not sure/refused, are you leaning toward Republican Richard Burr or Democrat Elaine Marshall.

Burr – 30%
Lean Burr – 10%
Marshall – 21%
Lean Marshall – 11%

If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you be voting for the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate?

Democratic – 40%
Republican – 39%
Neither – 5%
Not Sure – 17%

Click here for full results and crosstabs.

This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted Dec 1-3, 2009 by Tel Opinion Research of Arlington, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.


This article was posted in Press Releases by Chris Hayes on December 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM.

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