Tuesday, July 6, 2010

PPP Shows a Seat Ripe for the Picking

The newest PPP poll shows Secretary of State Elaine Marshall at 33%, while Senator Richard Burr taking 38% of the poll respondents. Burr is polling worse than Libby Dole was when she lost her seat to Kay Hagan. Elaine Marshall can win this seat, but she still needs support and help.

A troubling but important part of the poll showed a proportionately large number of liberal and Democratic voters undecided about Secretary Marshall. These voters are expected to come over to support her, but the question is less who they will vote for, and more whether or not they will end up voting on November 2nd.

Moderate voters seem to favor Secretary Marshall with a huge margin of 46% to 22% over Burr. Despite the fact that the poll had larger numbers of respondents who considered themselves ideologically conservative and moderate, Secretary Marshall was still viewed favorably more often than unfavorably.

I would venture to guess that the unfavorable ratings from those who identified themselves as liberals or Democrats are residual effects from a financially and politically damaging runoff.

There has not been a large following of the North Carolina runoff on DKos and many of the other blogs, not to mention the national news cycle. I have been surprised at the minimal attention afforded to North Carolina, especially when articles following the primary runoff afforded Elaine and NC about a sentence of focus, then veered off in the direction of South Carolina.

The runoff cost the Marshall campaign more than $200,000, and nearly emptied the campaign coffers. In my opinion, this is approximately $200,000 the DSCC owes her campaign (to start with) for going along with a runoff that lasted 6 weeks and cost the state of North Carolina Board of Elections as much as $4 million.

A central theme of the Marshall campaign since the first primary has been Unity, in the Democratic Party and otherwise. This theme was paraded into the local media when former candidate Ken Lewis endorsed Elaine. Ken was a great progressive candidate that received almost no attention, but picked up 17% of the primary vote. The Democratic Party has been fractured a lot lately, and I think Elaine could be a great candidate for North Carolina, and a great Senator to bring a voice to the party that is not tainted by Washington DC politics. That said, she needs support and money from the DSCC and the DNC, and the network that supports them. The local media has been trumpeting the fact that the Marshall campaign has raised $150,000 or so since the runoff. To be honest, that is chump-change and will do little to compete with the $5+ million that Burr has in the bank.

I have been disappointed by the netroots for not rallying for Elaine. There have been a few nice posts, and she now has an account to post on the site, but it is nothing compared to the effort and sacrifice put forth on Bill Halter's campaign. I know there was some bitterness about that race, but Elaine provided a candidate with positions as progressive or more so than Bill Halter, and a race where she could remove a real Republican incumbent from a Senate seat. The only real answer I can provide is that someone better think about a coordinated effort to raise for her, and an effort to get out the word on her campaign because, apparently, Democrats and otherwise around the country did not think she had a chance and did not give her much support in the runoff because the DSCC backed Cunningham, the other candidate. They were wrong, and I hope that fact makes you angry, at least annoys you a little bit, ideally enough to donate to her campaign, and call your friends in NC to vote for her. The NC and national media has dropped the ball on this race, as has the DSCC. Make it right.


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