Roy Cooper (D): 41
Richard Burr (R-inc): 38
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.