The Republican race for President in North Carolina looks very competitive, with Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney tied at 30%. Newt Gingrich is 3rd at 19% with Ron Paul bringing up the rear at 13%.
Two weeks ago Romney had a four point lead over Santorum in the state. Romney's support has remained pretty steady since then, but Santorum's grown from 27% to 30%. It's no coincidence that Santorum's support has increased as Gingrich's has declined from 24% to 19%. More and more conservatives are unifying around Santorum as the alternative to Romney. If Gingrich dropped out of the race Santorum would open up a 6 point lead in North Carolina with 43% to 37% for Romney and 13% for Paul.
We also looked at everything else on the North Carolina Republican ballot this fall as well:
-Pat McCrory's just getting stronger in the primary for Governor. 64% of likely voters now say he'll be their pick, up from 57% a month ago. Jim Mahan at 3%, Jim Harney and Charles Kenneth Moss at 2%, Scott Jones at 1%, and Paul Wright with less than 1% round out the field.
-There are two tiers of candidates in the Auditor's race as well. For the second poll in a row Debra Goldman and Greg Dority are tied at 11% with Rudy Wright and Fern Shubert each at 4%, and Joseph Hank DeBragga at 2%. Those numbers are bad news for Shubert given her statewide profile- it seems like she should have an early advantage. Goldman is strongest in the Triangle where she serves on the Wake County School Board, while Dority does best in the Triad where he was a Congressional candidate in 2010. 67% are undecided.
-Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler led primary challenger Bill McManus by 20 points at 32-12 when we polled this race last month. He leads by 20 points at 35-15 this month. 50% are still undecided.
-Former House speaker Richard Morgan leads with 16% to 10% for Mike Causey and 8% for James McCall. He's at 20% in the 910 area code encompassing Moore County, which he used to serve in the legislature.
-In the Secretary of State race former Wake County Commissioner Kenn Gardner's at 13% to 9% for Ed Goodwin, 8% for A.J. Daoud, and 3% for Michael Beitler. 68% are undecided.
-In the Superintendent race John Tedesco leads with 13% to 9% for Richard Alexander, 5% for Mark Crawford, 4% for Ray Ernest Martin, and 3% for David Scholl. Tedesco's lead is largely thanks to getting 32% in the Triangle, where he's a Wake County School Board member. 66% are undecided.
-Finally Steve Royal leads Frank Roche 16-11 in the State Treasurer primary with 73% undecided.
Only one real solid conclusion you can make from any of these numbers: the races, other than Governor, will be decided in the final six weeks.
Full results here