Late yesterday afternoon it was announced that Gov. Bev Perdue had appointed Rep. Lucy Allen (D-Franklin) to the Utilities Commission (with its $123,198 salary — not bad for a commission that has only met 6 times so far this year).
In 2008, Allen, the former mayor of Louisburg, won the district by 59-41 margin, but according to Civitas’ NCPI, the district overall is only a D+3 distict, so Allen was significantly outperforming the district’s leaning. Additionally, the district was carried by McCain over Obama by a slight margin.
So without Allen on the ballot, could this seat be in play? Very possibly. IF, big if, 2010 is shaping up to be similar to 1994, then a seat like Allen’s, slightly leaning Democratic and now an open seat, could be the type of seat that will be one to watch for a wave election.
According to our latest poll, the statewide legislative generic ballot favors Republicans by two points. Among voters who say they are “definitely voting” in 2010, Republicans lead by four points. Comparatively, in a poll we took the week before the 2008 election, Democrats led the generic ballot by seven points. Basically, we’ve seen an 11 point swing in the generic ballot since 2008.
If this current situation holds until November, seats like the Allen seat (and others that lean even more Democratic) will be very competitive.
Certainly one to keep your eye on in the next few months.