Public Policy Polling’s newest poll on the North Carolina Governor's race finds a steady contest with Pat McCrory leading Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton by 6 points, 45-39. Libertarian Barbara Howe polls at 5 percent. 5 PPP polls conducted since Dalton won the Democratic nomination have all found the same thing- McCrory leading by either 6 or 7 points.
McCrory continues to be a popular candidate with 46 percent of voters holding a favorable opinion of him to 33 percent with a negative one. He has 79 percent name recognition compared to only 55 percent for Dalton. Dalton's favorability numbers have improved a net 12 points in the last month from -7 at 24/31 to +5 at 30/25.
McCrory leads thanks to strong support from independent voters and his crossover appeal to Democrats. With independents he holds a 20 point lead, 48-28. He's also taking 19 percent of the Democratic vote, compared to only 10 percent of Republicans going for Dalton.
The good news for Dalton is that the undecideds skew heavily in his favor. 60 percent are Democrats, compared to only 18 percent who are Republicans. 40 percent are African Americans and 65 percent are women. These are folks who are voting for Barack Obama and voting Democratic for other offices but simply don't know Dalton that well yet. If those folks end up coming home in the end this is more like a 3-4 point race.
“Pat McCrory continues to be the clear favorite for Governor,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But this race could tighten up if undecided Democrats move into the Walter Dalton column as they become more familiar with him.”
Democrat Linda Coleman leads Republican Dan Forest just 41-39 in the race for Lieutenant Governor. Incumbent Democratic Auditor Beth Wood has only a 2 point lead over Republican challenger Debra Goldman at 40-38. Incumbent Democratic Treasurer Janet Cowell has a 42-38 advantage over GOP challenger Steve Royal. Republican incumbent Steve Troxler leads Democratic challenger Walter Smith 45-35 for Agriculture Commissioner.
PPP surveyed 1,012 likely North Carolina voters from August 31st to September 2nd . The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.1 percent. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization.