Republicans have won big victories in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia over the last few months thanks largely to overwhelming support from independents. That same trend is showing itself for the elections in North Carolina this year as well.
Our latest poll on Richard Burr showed him leading a generic Democratic opponent 46-25 and the actual Democratic candidates by anywhere from 20-26 points with independents. By contrast our final North Carolina poll in 2008 showed Kay Hagan leading 48-44 with unaffiliated voters. It's safe to say that if Democrats don't improve on their current numbers with those folks Burr will be reelected this fall.
It's a similar story with generic ballot polling. Voters in the state are planning to vote Republican by a 45-23 margin for the legislature and a 46-24 margin for House seats.
Independents in North Carolina are showing the same overwhelming trend toward the GOP that has fueled recent Republican successes in other states. It's something Democrats will have to overcome to preserve their standing this fall.