A lot has gone on in the North Carolina Governor's race over the last month- attacks ads on both sides, lawsuit threats, salvos in the press...and the effect of this all on voters has been...basically none. The state of the race is exactly the same as it was a month ago.
Pat McCrory leads Walter Dalton 47-40, almost identical to his 46-40 advantage in May. The negative ads haven't really had any effect on the candidates' images either. McCrory's favorability this month is a +14 spread at 44/30, little different from last month's +13 at 41/28. There's been similarly little impact on Dalton. Last month he was at 28/26 and now he's at 28/28.
McCrory continues to be the favorite for a couple of key reasons. He's been persistently strong with independents and leads 47/31 with them this month. And his party is much more unified around him than Dalton's is- he's taking 83% of the Republican vote to Dalton's 68% of Democrats. Some party unity gap is to be expected in North Carolina because there are so many conservative Democrats, but it was only 7 points in our final poll of 2008.
One outcome of a Republican leading at the top of the ticket could be tough times for some Democratic Council of State members seeking reelection. Incumbent Treasurer Janet Cowell leads challenger Steve Royal only 34-33, and Auditor Beth Wood is tied with her challenge Debra Goldman at 36%. In the other statewide race where the general election match up has been set Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has a commanding 45-31 lead over challenger Walter Smith.
Full results here