Raleigh, N.C. – The race for the Democratic nomination for US Senate is wide open according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
Democratic and unaffiliated voters who are likely to vote in 2010 were asked their preference between Elaine Marshall, Cal Cunningham and Kenneth Lewis in the race to take on incumbent US Senator Richard Burr (R). Of the 390 voters surveyed, 14 percent chose Marshall, 7 percent chose Lewis and 4 percent chose Cunningham. Of the remaining voters who were polled, 75 percent of them said they were not sure.
“With only a little over three months until the Primary, no candidate has stepped forward to claim the frontrunner mantle,” said Civitas Institute Executive Director Francis De Luca.
Among Democratic voters, only Marshall’s support grows to 17 percent, followed by Lewis at 7 percent and Cunningham at 3 percent. Marshall also leads among those voters most likely to vote in 2010.
Lewis’ support comes primarily from younger, African-American voters in the Triad and Northeastern regions of the state.
Cunningham’s base appears to be with the younger voters, where he holds a slight lead among all candidates in the 26 to 40 year old voters.
“It is somewhat surprising that in spite of all the attention and wooing that was directed at Cunningham from Democratic establishment figures he’s having the hardest time gaining any traction with Democratic voters,” added De Luca.
(Please note that the sample for the survey is of likely General Election voters and may not be fully indicative of that voter participating in a Democratic primary.)
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. Civitas will host its monthly poll luncheon on Wednesday, January 27 at the Clarion Hotel in downtown Raleigh. For more polling information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.
Full text of question:
(Of Democrats and Unaffiliateds Only): If the Democratic Primary for US Senate were held today, would you be voting for Elaine Marshall, Cal Cunningham or Kenneth Lewis?
Marshall – 14%
Cunningham – 4%
Lewis – 7%
Not Sure – 75%
This poll of 600 likely general election voters (390 Democrats and Unaffiliateds) in North Carolina was conducted Jan. 19-21 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. Margin of error for subsample of 390 Democratic and Unaffiliated voters is +-4.96%.