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NC-Sen: Cooper Leads Burr in New Poll

by: James L.

Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 4:45 PM EDT

Civitas (3/16-19, registered voters):

Roy Cooper (D): 41
Richard Burr (R-inc): 38
Undecided: 21
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Roy Cooper, the Attorney General of North Carolina, continues to post the best numbers of any prospective Democrat against GOP wallflower Richard Burr. A Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos in January showed Burr edging Cooper by a 45-43 margin, while PPP had Cooper leading by a 39-34 spread in December. Burr has to be nervous about a head-to-head race against the state's top lawman.

Both Burr and Cooper will have an opportunity to acquaint a broad swath of voters with themselves; Burr holds a 44-12 favorability rating, but 31% have "no opinion" of the Senator, and another 19% have never heard of him. Lacking a well-defined image after four years in office while holding a notoriously volatile seat seems to be Burr's biggest weakness at this point. Cooper, meanwhile, is not exactly a household name either -- he sports a 32-4 favorability rating with 27% having no opinion of him and complete unfamiliarity with another 37%.

Still, Democrats have to be pretty excited about these nums. We just have to hope that Cooper can be persuaded to take the plunge.

James L. :: NC-Sen: Cooper Leads Burr in New Poll
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That's what I call room for growth.

AGs make great candidates.  Period.

Great matchup
Cooper would be as strong of a candidate as Kay Hagen, and Burr is not as strong of a candidate as Dole, so intuitively, Cooper should win handily.  The only thing that concerns me is the Republican spinmeisters that will try to tie Cooper to the phantom "left-wing plan" of Obama's.  

40, male, Democrat, NC-04

Cooper would be awesome!
He got 60% of the vote when he was reelected to a third term in 2008 and he received more votes than any other candidate of either party on the ballot in North Carolina last November. In 2004, Burr only won by about 5 points over Erskine Bowles (a fairly weak opponent in comparison) while Bush won NC by 12%.

I think if Cooper ran he would be successful, but he is just taking some time to size up his options. Even if he ran and lost, the AG job wouldn't be on the ballot in 2010 and he could keep his job.

Burr is not only a wallflower Republican, but here in NC we hear nothing about what he does for NC other than make partisan attacks, which doesn't help us much in the Dem. Congress. Roy Cooper is in the news all the time for the efforts he's made on the environment, sex predators, mortgage scams, and other things. He led the national push to keep sex offenders off Facebook and MySpace.

I think he will run if people call for him to enter. Does anyone know if Menendez and the DSCC have met with anyone about the NC race?

*Also a personal insight
I put this in another thread but not everyone may have seen it.

I go to a high school in NC, and the girl who sits next to me in French class goes to his church and is friends with one of Roy Cooper's daughters. Apparently he is reluctant to run because several of his children are still school-age and he is concerned about having to live in DC or move the rest of his family away from NC.

Not sure how that will play out...

Cooper seems popular enough that he can
keep on serving and running for AG (he has no term limits- see the post below) as long as he wants until his three daughters are grown. And then turn his eye to that Senate seat (if it's still in Republican hands 6 or 12 years from now).

[ Parent ]
That's about the only good reason
he shouldn't run. I can't fault him for not running if he concerned with uprooting his family.

Reminds me of Mark Begich last cycle who waited until March of last year to jump in. From what I've read I agree with you that he can be coaxed into this race. As such, I've been calling his office to make the case for his running whenever I've had time the past few weeks.

I'd recommend for everyone else who wants this seat to do the same: 919.716.6400.

If he runs, we'll flip this seat. I guarantee it.

[ Parent ]
Can Cooper run and still keep the AG job?
And is the NC AG term-limited ?

From wikipedia

The Attorney General is elected by the people to a four-year term. There is no limit on the number of terms a person may serve in the office.

[ Parent ]
This is great
But I'm still not convinced.  I still think the fundamentals on Burr are not as weak as Dole's were.  And, again, the turnout will be down amongst our groups in 2010.  It's way early, and these are good numbers, but I'm skeptical that we'd elect two Democratic Senators (though I bet Virginia said that not so long ago).

28, male, NC-13 formerly NC-01, 04, 05, 07, 11

Wait, doesn't midterm turnout usually benefit Democrats in NC?
IIRC, a lot of people who would vote Republican straight ticket during Presidential election years either don't turn out or vote for Democrats. Granted, the dynamics may have changed since Obama won NC, but I don't see Burr being in a stronger position than Dole.

[ Parent ]
President is outside of straight party... so in presidential years, we have to mark at least two spots to get the President and the rest of the slate.

My point is that he's stronger because we can't throw the carpetbagger or the ineffective arguments at him the way we could her.

It's hard to say how mid-terms help us because we only have one statewide partisan race in off years: Senate; and the last two of those were 98 and 02.  

I know I'm coming across as super-skeptical on this; I don't want us to get our hopes up.  I believe whatever base won it for us in 2008 is weak and won't turn out in the same numbers to pull it off again.  A GOP friend pointed out something that could be quite telling: we won because of straight party on every race in 2008.  What that means is that those who went through and voted in each individual race voted for the GOP in nearly every race.  It might be a psychological stretch, but I have a feeling that without Obama on the ballot, our straight party voters won't turnout but those that pay attention (i.e., vote in every race individually) are more likely to turn out.

28, male, NC-13 formerly NC-01, 04, 05, 07, 11

[ Parent ]
Well, he's pretty clearly ineffective.
I mean, he's done so little that people don't even know who he is.

Anyways, the basis for my (well, not mine, but someone else's that I read) reasoning is that Burr's seat has been won by a Democrat every midterm and vice-versa. It could be coincidence, but if there's one state where that might be true it would be NC.

[ Parent ]
I don't believe that for a second. I do think that this will be a great race, and I think Cooper has probably as good a shot as any Democrat in North Carolina would. I just do not think that name recognition is really that big of a thing. Not shocking, that if he had a sacrificial lamb in 2004, he probably did not need to spend as much, or target as much, so he would have had his name out there less than if he ran against someone spending millions of dollars. Also, I live in California, and I'm sure that if I went around and polled people "Name the office held by Diane Feinstien and Barbara Boxer." At LEAST 30-40% of Californias would have no clue and both of them have been around for what, 15 years now?

Just remember, everyone on this site is a poli-junkie, we're not representative of the general population. lol We're better ;)

[ Parent ]
Same in TX
Other than Rick Perry we have no idea who our elected officials are. Im sure most voters have heard the names John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison...but thats easy to if you watch the local news everyday. But it doesnt mean you remember anything about them. TX may have alot of open spaces but much of our pop. is in the suburbs and i hate to say this...but suburbans arent the most political people in the world. most seem pretty apolitical.

[ Parent ]
Oh their political
Straight party, no other questions.

I'm pretty sure Hutch is on equal footing with Perry. Cornyn is the one that drags behind. THe rest are blank slates or don't exist to the voters.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
Well by political
I mean pay attention to politics other than the occasional Pres. debate and going into the voting booth on election day.

[ Parent ]
I am not sure
your logic is correct. If we have a higher number of straight ticket voters, that would tend to be a good thing. People who show stronger partisan preference are the most likely to vote. By the way, people who vote straight ticket tend to be the most knowledgable politically.

[ Parent ]
I think Burr is just as weak
If not weaker than Dole.  This is an odd circumstance where the incumbent has little advantage of inbumbency because he's such a backbencher noone knows who he is.

Not sure how NC is but usually midterms don't fare as well for Democrats in the south since blacks usually have low turnout in midterms.  North Carolina may be an exception though because it's one of the few southern states where whites for for Democrats in decent numbers.

[ Parent ]
cuomo and cooper are in somewhat similar positions
they are the undisputed heavyweights of their party in a position to be the favorite against the incumbent.  but they maintain that position more easily by not actually running.  the big difference of course is that cooper's going to have to start raising serious money soon to beat burr.

so we junkies fret, but they are running on a different calendar.

the other interesting question is:  how different of a north carolina is this?  the triangle, like northern virginia, has brought in a huge migration of more liberal "northern" votes, making NC possibly a true swing state dependent on candidates' personal charms, money, and the popularity of the current president(a variable that may be playing a role for cooper as well).

but me personally i want him to get in...soon.

NC is a Democratic state now
In fact, NC is the only state in the South where all of the following are true:
+Democratic governors since 1993 (only Washington and Oregon go back further than NC
+Both houses of state legislature are Democratic
+Went for Obama in 2008
+Democratic advantage in congressional delegation (8-5)
+At least one Democratic U.S Senator
+All but two statewide offices (Ag and Labor Commissioner) held by Democrats

So at this point in time, in basically every way we are a very Democratic state.

Yet another reason why Burr is in so much trouble.

The NC electorate has changed in the last 10 years
First off, I agree in general with your assessment...Democrats have the upper hand in NC at this time.  I will also mention that Democrats have a 3-2 advantage in party registration.  That number is deceiving, since many of the elderly in NC are registered as Democrats because pre-civil rights legislation, the entire state was pretty much a one party state--Democrat.

I will also mention that the NC Democratic party is far more moderate than the National Democratic party.  There have been a few elected NC Democratic officials that were more aligned with the National Party, such as Terry Sanford and John Edwards.  

NC is a growing state, and the electorate, along with Virginia, has bucked the trend of the other Southern States.  What is strange to me is that Georgia is growing as fast, if not faster, than NC, but Georgia seems to not be tending blue.  As late as 1992 Georgia went to a Democrat in a Presidential election.  

40, male, Democrat, NC-04

[ Parent ]
Senator Burr - Vote this man out of office
I am a North Carolina Republican.  But I'll vote for anyone,  and I mean anyone,  who runs against Senator Richard Burr.

I've voted Republican my entire life.  But I'm fed up with the irresponsible leadership in the Republican party.  I live, eat, sleep and breathe the world of finance.  And I know who is to blame for this financial crises.  Republicans.  Every single Republican who served during the Bush Administration needs to be booted from office. I'm going to do my part.  Every single day,  from now until the election,  18 months from now,  I'll be blogging Senator Richard Burr out of office.  When the election rolls around,  and you do any keyword search on Senator Richard Burr,  your screen is going to be full of my critical posts pounding on this worthless Senator.  From now,  until the election, you can find me here:


Always nice to have former Republicans, including myself, here.

My blog
28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)

[ Parent ]
How do we know this isn't IHateBush?
Is he in fact a double or even triple agent? Mmmm...

[ Parent ]
The blog's been running for a little while
and it links to a financial blog that by all appearances is by the same guy. That's all a bit elaborate just to make one triumphant anti-Burr post if that's not really how this guy feels.

22, Democrat, AZ-01
Peace. Love. Gabby.

[ Parent ]
Broken Sarcasm Detector
Blame this semester.

22, Democrat, AZ-01
Peace. Love. Gabby.

[ Parent ]
You never know
He may be posing as an authoritarian leftist who is really a republican who claims to have been a secret agent working for the Toomey campaign on behalf of democrats in 2004.  

[ Parent ]
Amen brother!
Always nice to see another former-Republican come into the fold!

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