A new poll shows Republican Pat McCrory’s advantage over Democrat Walter Dalton remaining steady over the past month, even as ads attacking both gubernatorial candidates have hit the airwaves across North Carolina.
According to survey results released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling, McCrory’s lead is at 47-40 percent, virtually identical to the 46-40 percent advantage he enjoyed in May. The initial volley of campaign advertisements appears to have left both candidates largely unscathed, with their respective favorability ratings nearly the same as the month previous.
McCrory, a former seven-term mayor of Charlotte, continues to hold a solid lead among independent voters at 47-31 percent and siphons off the support of 18 percent of Democrats, compared to the 10 percent of Republicans who break party lines to support Dalton, the state’s current lieutenant governor.
While these latest poll results appear to be good news for McCrory, they may also represent some positive trends for Dalton.
“(Dalton’s) post-primary bounce has sustained itself for the last month despite the negative ads being run against him,” said Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling. “It seems unlikely that McCrory will return to the 15-point lead he started out the race with, or anything particularly close to it.”
McCrory trails Dalton among self-described moderate voters, 51-34 percent. Female voters are evenly split between the two candidates, with male voters favoring McCrory by 15 percent. Dalton has an advantage among voters age 18-29, while McCrory leads in all other age groups. McCrory’s strongest base of support is in the Charlotte region. Dalton is favored most strongly in Eastern North Carolina.
Jensen says McCrory’s lead could lift the prospects of other statewide Republican candidates. The poll finds incumbent Democratic Treasurer Janet Cowell leading her Republican challenger, Steve Royal, by just one percentage point. Democratic State Auditor Beth Wood is tied with her opponent, Republican Debra Goldman, at 36 percent. Nearly a third of voters are still undecided in both races.
Meanwhile, Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler leads Democrat Walter Smith, 45-31 percent, with 25 percent of voters undecided in the contest.