-PPP's new poll of the North Carolina Governor's race finds Republican Pat McCrory leading Democrat Walter Dalton 47-37, with Libertarian Barbara Howe at 5%. This is the biggest lead McCrory's had in a PPP survey since Dalton won the Democratic nomination in May.
The key for McCrory is that the attacks on him over the last four months just haven't done much to affect his image. He has a +12 net favorability rating with 46% of voters giving him positive marks to 34% who have a negative opinion. That's not much different from May when he was at +13 (41/28).
McCrory's lead continues to be driven by two major factors: a high level of crossover support from Democrats, and a huge advantage with independents. McCrory's winning 19% of the Democratic vote while losing only 7% of Republicans to Dalton. And he's up by a 52/22 margin with independents.
-The good news for Democrats is that McCrory's strength at the top of the ticket isn't hindering them too much further down the ballot. In three Council of State races with Democratic incumbents we find all of them winning. June Atkinson is up 44-34 on John Tedesco for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elaine Marshall's up 41-34 on Ed Goodwin for Secretary of State, and Wayne Goodwin's up 41-36 on Mike Causey for Insurance Commissioner. In the one race with a Republican incumbent that we looked at this month Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry leads challenger John Brooks 41-37.
-The most important state race this year besides Governor may actually be for the Supreme Court. In that nonpartisan race the de facto Democrat candidate, Sam Ervin IV, leads the Republican incumbent Paul Newby by a 31-23 margin. The 46% of voters undecided is not terribly surprising in a race where voters can't just go on party labels. Ervin is winning 44% of Democrats while only 37% of Republicans are currently committed to Newby.
-The hotly contested political races in North Carolina appear likely to continue in 2014. Right now Kay Hagan leads a hypothetical Republican opponent 46-43. That speaks to the possibility of a hotly contested Senate race that could be pivotal in helping to determine who has control of the chamber after the midterm elections. Meanwhile Richard Burr continues to be one of the most anonymous Senators in the country- 29% of voters approve of him, 30% disapprove, and 41% don't have an opinion one way or the other.
Full results here