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Saturday, August 14, 2004

NC Gets Even Closer

Posted by DavidNYC

The Raleigh News & Observer just released a new North Carolina poll, taken around a week after the convention (likely voters, early July - post-Edwards - in parens):

Kerry: 45 (44)
Bush: 48 (49)
Undecided: 7 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

Though the margin has shrunk, it's all still well inside the MoE. The difficulty here, though, is that Bush still has a pretty high favorability rating, 53-38 (though he was at 57-37 in January). His job performance rating isn't quite so good, with only 49% rating him excellent or pretty good and 51% saying only fair or poor. Nonetheless, I think with numbers like these, it may be pretty hard to get undecideds to break our way.

John Edwards' job performance, however, has markedly improved, from 49-44 in January to 57-35 in this poll, so he might actually help the ticket more as time goes on. And on a key local question - "Has President Bush done enough to protect furniture, textiles and other manufacturing industries from foreign trade?" - only 34% say yes and 59% say no. This means that a good chunk of Bush's Republican base thinks he's done a shoddy job on this issue. In recent years, the Dems have had some success in pushing local issues in red states (I'm thinking South Dakota & Louisiana in particular), so this might be our opening.

A side-note: Kerry will be in the Charlotte area on Friday. And for those of you who thought the GOP wasn't taking the Dem threat to this state seriously, Team Bush is opening up a campaign office in Raleigh.

(Thanks to reader Chris.)

Posted at 04:15 PM in North Carolina | Technorati


Kerry is widening his leads in the gore states while Bush has to battle for his red states. So we will see more negative ads from BC04 in coming days.

Posted by: jess at August 14, 2004 05:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

While I don't think we will be able to win NC this time around I think we will be able to get within 5%. Definatly a target (along with Virginia) in 2008.

Posted by: David Trinh at August 14, 2004 08:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

While Kerry/Edwards of course should not mount an all-out effort for North Carolina like they are doing for Ohio and Florida these polls show that continuing the current effort in NC is very much worth it. It keeps Bush/Cheney busy and on the defensive and a story of B/C struggling in a traditional red state makes for good press.

Posted by: Inkan1969 at August 14, 2004 08:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

12 polls since Feb 2004 show Bush support keeps eroding in NC?


Why couldn't NC go Kerry? Kerry must think they can do it. He will be in Charlotte on Friday.

Posted by: Steve at August 14, 2004 08:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If the numbers in these southern states stay tight after the Republican convention, then Kerry should step up his offensive in the south.

Virginia, North Carolina, Tennesse and Arkansas are all soft for Bush at this stage, and it only would take shaking one loose to seriously threaten Bush's electoral calculus. Matter of fact, its almost impossible for Kerry to lose if he picks one of the above off IMO.

At the very least, putting money on these states and maybe Nevada out west which is also very soft for Bush right now will pull resources for Bush out of Florida where he will desperately need them as he's already trailing somewhat significantly and out of Ohio where we've seen that neglect by Republicans late in elections can lead to a significant break towards the Democrats. It will also blunt any potential Bush offensive in Maine, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Perhaps its time for 2 weeks of barnstorming Edwards in these states, particularly in the more rural conservative areas, along with some stepped up advertising and an occassional Kerry visit to the more urban Democratic base areas of those states?

Posted by: DisenfranchisedFloridian at August 14, 2004 09:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Interesting to me is the fact that North Carolina is the fact that the financial service industry has such a large presence in Charlotte, and also tech triangle in the State. A large percentage of undecideds can be found in the financial service/tech sector. I think that these people will eventually come around to Kerry (cynically: because I think they're generally educated people, and can see how Bush panders to those of low intelligence), but I'd still say Bush has a better than halfers chance of winning.

But as someone said here: if Kerry wins NC, forget it, Kerry is our next President, and we'll have weathered the idiot warmonger safely.

Posted by: joseph at August 14, 2004 11:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If polls numbers stay close after the RNC, Kerry should push for NC hard. His running mate is from NC. It has the potential to vote Democratic.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 14, 2004 11:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Picking off NC would clearly be a deathblow to the Bush campaign barring the miracle of them defending every large battleground state (FL,OH,MO) and picking off WI on top of that. I can't see how they could do all that and lose NC but I suppose it's possible.

I have doubts about TN and VA, but I think AR is a possibility if Clinton still holds the sway there that he might. The electoral math there gets a little fuzzy though because Kerry still needs another pickup plus he has to hold IA and WI. Being that NH is probably blue this year and that gives Kerry 270 w/AR, I would say it should be something to watch as we move into the fall. I say, send Clinton there after the R convention and see if he can move the numbers at all. If it looks like we might still have a shot, we should go for it. Hell, if we take all of these little states (NV,WV,AR,NH) we can still lose WI and take no other Bush states to win.

Anyway, I'm just saying that the math is looking real bad for Bush right now. He's on the defensive in about 10 states that he won last time around and right now he is only seriously threatening in WI and IA in my opinion. I'm sure the convention will shift the map a bit, but regardless I will be battling it out in OH as I hope everyone else will be in their states.

Posted by: asearchforreason at August 15, 2004 12:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Whether we win NC or other southern states or not, a close race lifts all boats--making it likely we tie or win the Senate and giving us a fighting chance for the House.

Kerry will be more effective as president if he doesn't have to fight both houses of Congress.

Posted by: Windy at August 15, 2004 01:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not sure it would be such a good idea for Kerry to campaign in a southern state that has a conservative Democrat running. It might drag down the senate canidates numbers.

Posted by: David Trinh at August 16, 2004 10:42 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David, so long as Kerry is within three points of Bush in NC, I don't think he's a liability to Bowles. Furthermore, the Dems need to find a way to effectively send their national figures to conservative parts of the country without hurting the chances of local candidates. If the party isolates itself to campaigning for President north of the Mason-Dixon line only, they are effectively conceding the vast majority of local candidates to defeat as well.

Posted by: Mark at August 16, 2004 01:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, it makes sense for two reasons. Kerry has a running mate from NC, and the polls are close enough for Kerry to possibly win. Why should Kerry abandon NC, with those two factors to consider? He could actually win NC, it's not out of the question. With the right ground support and with an effective campaign, I can't see why Kerry can't win NC.

Posted by: Rock_nj at August 16, 2004 01:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Meanwhile, a USA Today poll taken just a day after the poll cited in this thread shows Bush with a lead of 6% in NC--that's double. Did NC voters suddenly bolt for Bush in less than 24 hours? So who do you determine which poll to believe? As I have written before, is very wishful thinking to believe NC will flip for Kerry in November, regardless of some of these polls that claim otherwise. I suspect Bush will win here by at least 8%.

Posted by: Pepe at August 17, 2004 10:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I had the pleasure of speaking to one of NC's delegates who fully participated in the Democratic Convention in Boston last month. I learned a number of interesting bits of information from her. Here's a very interesting fact that she gave me: in state-wide elections, roughly 20% of all the Democratic votes in NC come from just 2 of our 100 counties: Orange (my own, which includes Chapel Hill) and neighboring Durham County. I knew this area was heavily Democratic, but I did not realize that these two counties were responsible for 1 out of ever 5 Democratic votes cast in NC! She said the goal is to increase voting in Orange and Durham Counties by 10,000 this year.

Towards the end of our conversation, I asked if she thought Kerry and Edwards could take NC in November. With a sad look in her eyes, she paused, and then spoke almost in a whisper. She said that as much as she hopes for such an outcome, she in her heart, she doesn't think it's possible. I had to laugh when she said the biggest problem is "South" Carolina's largest city, Charlotte, which of course is in NORTH Carolina. It's our state's largest city by far, and it's as deeply conservative as our sister state across the border. She informed me that Forsyth County (which includes Winston-Salem) votes strongly Republican, and that in Wake County (which includes the capital and second-largest city in NC), the Republicans usually have a 65% to 45% edge over the Democrats in elections there.

All of this confirms my own suspitions about this state that I love with all my heart. Unfortunately, it's only a swing state for folks wearing purple-colored glasses. That said we won't throw in the towel here in North Carolina's deep blue heart, also known as Orange and Durham Counties.

Posted by: Pepe at August 27, 2004 08:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment