The North Carolina Governor's race has been very stable since the fall match up was set in May. Pat McCrory continues to lead Walter Dalton by 7 points, 43-36. That's identical to McCrory's 7 point lead on our June poll and pretty similar to his 6 point advantage the weekend after the primary as well. Libertarian Barbara Howe is pulling a surprisingly high 9%.
There continue to be two primary factors driving McCrory's poll advantage. He's very strong with independents, leading 47-25 with them. And his party is much more unified around him- he's taking 79% of Republicans while only 63% of Democrats are currently committed to Dalton.
Another reason for McCrory's lead- but also a reason why this race will probably get closer between now and November- is that McCrory continues to have superior name recognition. 70% of voters are familiar with him, compared to only 51% who know Dalton. As a result the undecideds in the race skew considerably Democratic- 57% of them are voting for Barack Obama compared to only 29% who are for Mitt Romney. If those folks ended up voting the same party for Governor that they are for President, McCrory's lead would decline to 4 points. That's still an uphill battle for Dalton but it shows his chances are better than the conventional wisdom on the race.
Reflecting the unhappiness with the Republican leadership, Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot in the state 45-43. Under the old lines that would have given them a pretty decent chance of reclaiming control of one or both chambers of the General Assembly this fall. But with the new ones it probably equates to Democrats picking up a few seats, but something short of a majority.
And in the Council of State races we polled this month incumbents lead across the board. Democratic Treasurer Janet Cowell and Auditor Beth Wood lead their opponents Steve Royal and Debra Goldman by narrow margins of 38-35 and 39-36 respectively. Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has a more comfortable lead, 46-34, over his Democratic challenger Walter Smith.
Full results here