Raleigh, N.C. – Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr holds a 10-point lead over potential Democratic rival, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
The live caller poll of 600 likely 2010 voters revealed that 43.7 percent of them would support Burr while 33.0 percent said they would support Marshall. Undecided voters tallied 23.3 percent of the answered poll question.
Burr’s base of support was much more solid than Marshall’s. Decided voters revealed that 33.2 percent of them were “definitely” voting for Burr, but only 18.2 percent of voters said they were “definitely” supporting Marshall.
“Burr is in a very good position right now relative to his potential rival,” said Civitas Institute Executive Director Francis De Luca. “Not only does he lead by 10 points, but his base of support is nearly twice as strong as Marshall’s. In fact, more voters are solidly in Burr’s camp than show support for Marshall.”
Burr’s advantage is in his strong support among his base Republican voters (79-6) and by holding a strong lead among unaffiliated voters (47-24). Meanwhile, Marshall has not solidified her base of support and is garnering only slightly more than half of Democratic voters (57-17).
“Democratic voters have not rallied around Marshall as the candidate to challenge Burr as of yet,” added De Luca. “Burr has his base solidly locked up and he can spend the next year chasing swing voters. Marshall does not have that luxury and will have to spend critical time and resources locking up her base.”
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. Full results of the poll will be revealed on the Civitas Institute’s Web site at www.nccivitas.org in the coming weeks.
Full text of question:
If the election were held today, which one of the following best describes how likely you are to vote in the election for United State Senate between Richard Burr, the Republican candidate, and Elaine Marshall, the Democratic candidate?
TOTAL BURR – 43.7%
Definitely Burr – 33.2%
Probably Burr – 7.7%
Lean Burr – 2.8%
TOTAL MARSHALL – 33.0%
Definitely Marshall – 18.2%
Probably Marshall – 8.5%
Lean Marshall – 6.3%
UNDECIDED – 23.3%
This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted October 20-21, 2009 by McLaughlin and Associates of Alexandria, Virginia. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers.
Interview selection was random within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter distributions in a statewide general election.
The poll of 600 likely general election voters has an accuracy of +/- 4.0% at a 95% confidence interval.