We did one last poll on all the primary contests in North Carolina. Here's the rundown:
Democratic Primary for Governor:
After a month of everything going Walter Dalton's way in the Democratic race for Governor things have tightened up a little bit in the final week. What was a 10 point lead for Dalton a week ago is now down to 5 with him at 34% to 29% for Bob Etheridge. Bill Faison, Gary Dunn, and Gardenia Henley are all at 4% and Bruce Blackmon rounds out the field at 2%.
A runoff in the race remains unlikely because the lower tier candidates have so little support. An unusually high 24% of voters remain undecided in the closing stretch, speaking to the low key nature of the contest. If those folks break proportionately to their current support Dalton would win 44-38. One very positive sign for Dalton's campaign is that he's up 44-31 among those who have already voted.
Our final marriage amendment poll finds it leading by a 55-39 margin, little change from a week ago when it was ahead 55-41. The final yes percentage will likely be somewhere in the 57-59% range depending on how the undecideds break. Opponents of the amendment had an uphill battle in convincing voters that it was anything other than a referendum on gay marriage, even though it does go a lot further than that. 57% of voters in the state think gay marriage should be illegal (to only 34% who think it should be legal) and it's not a coincidence that number correlates so closely with the 55% planning to support the amendment.
In some sense North Carolinians are voting against their own beliefs. 53% of voters in the state support either gay marriage or civil unions, yet a majority also support the amendment that would ban both. The reason for that disconnect is even with just 24 hours until election day only 46% of voters realize the proposal bans both gay marriage and civil unions. Those informed voters oppose the amendment by a 61-37 margin but there may not be enough time left to get the rest of the electorate up to speed.
Linda Coleman continues to hold a wide lead for Lieutenant Governor, 41-23 over Eric Mansfield. Mansfield is up 5 points compared to a week ago while Coleman's only gained 2 so that suggests the race could get a little bit closer but Coleman remains the strong favorite.
The result of the race for Labor Commissioner could leave heads shaking in Raleigh on Wednesday. Ty Richardson, who has received attention mostly as a serial DUIer, continues to lead the race with 30% to 18% for John Brooks and 14% for Marlowe Foster. Obviously in a race with 38% undecided anything could still happen but Richardson certainly looks like the favorite. One piece of hope for Democrats hoping to avoid an embarrassment- among those who have already voted Richardson's lead is smaller at 28% to 21% for Brooks and Foster, suggesting that voters who have done their research are less inclined to vote for him.
The race for Agriculture Commissioner is a total crap shoot. Scott Bryant leads Walter Smith 21-19 but the key number is the 60% of voters who are undecided. One good sign for Bryant is that he's up 33-22 among those who early voted.
The only suspense in the GOP race for Governor Tuesday night will be whether Pat McCrory can get to 90%. I doubt it but a performance in the mid-80s seems quite plausible. He's at 70% right now with his highest opponent at 3% and with 20% of voters undecided he's got yet more room to grow.
The primary for Lieutenant Governor is almost definitely headed for a runoff. It looks like Dale Folwell has the upper hand for one of those slots. He leads the way with 22%. Things could be very close between Tony Gurley (currently at 18%) and Dan Forest (currently at 17%) for the second slot in June. It looks like Grey Mills (9%) and Arthur Jason Rich (2%) will probably be left behind.
The contest for Auditor is also pretty definitely going to June. Debra Goldman (17%) and Greg Dority (16%) lead the way as they have in all our polls. I still think there's some chance Fern Shubert (11%) could break into the top two. She's running almost even with Dority among those who've already voted, suggesting her support increases relative to him once voters do a little more research. Rudy Wright (8%) and Joseph Hank DeBragga (5%) are probably out of it.
There's been a pretty big shift in the GOP race for Insurance Commissioner over the last week. Richard Morgan had held a 13 point lead but the race is now basically tied with Mike Causey up to 20%, Morgan dropping to 19%, and James McCall at 14%. With 47% of voters undecided just about anything could happen- including a runoff- if undecideds broke proportionately Causey would only get to 37%.
Kenn Gardner continues to lead the race for Secretary of State. He's at 23% to 14% for Ed Goodwin, 11% for A.J. Daoud, and 8% for Michael Beitler. This one's right on the runoff line- if undecideds broke proportionately it would put Gardner just over at 41%.
Yet another GOP race almost definitely runoff bound is the one for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The two contestants who move on will likely come from the trio of John Tedesco (16%), Richard Alexander (14%), and Mark Crawford (12%). Ray Ernest Martin and David Scholl at 6% each are further back.
And finally Steve Royal continues to look like the favorite for Treasurer with a 30-24 lead over Frank Roche.
Full results here