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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Richard Burr Remains Comfortably Ahead Of Elaine Marshall: Rasmussen Poll

Election 2010: North Carolina Senate

Incumbent Republican Senator Richard Burr remains comfortably ahead of Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall in his bid for reelection in North Carolina.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Burr enjoying his best showing to date, with 54% support to Marshall's 38% when leaners are included. One percent (1%) favor some other candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

These new findings move the race from Leans GOP to Solid GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.

Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. From this point forward, Rasmussen Reports considers results with leaners the primary indicator of the race.

If leaners are not included, Burr holds a 51% to 36% lead over Marshall, North Carolina's longtime secretary of state. Last month, the Republican who is seeking a second six-year term in the Senate posted a 49% to 40% lead.

Burr has been ahead most of the year. Marshall pulled even temporarily in June, enjoying a bounce from her victory in a Democratic Primary runoff. But with the exception of the post-runoff poll, Burr's support has ranged from 48% to 52% all year, while Marshall has earned 32% to 40% of the vote in those same surveys.

However, just 59% of Burr supporters say they are already certain how they will vote in November, compared to 71% of Marshall voters.

While Burr had long been viewed as one of the most vulnerable GOP senators in this election cycle, Democratic leaders clearly are moving away from that point of view. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, in fact, is now shifting its hopes for pickups to the races in Kentucky and Missouri where Republicans are retiring from the Senate.

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The survey of 500 Likely Voters in North Carolina was conducted on September 8, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Burr draws 85% support from Republican voters in North Carolina, while just 66% of the state's Democrats currently back Marshall. The Republican leads among voters not affiliated with either party by more than 30 points.

Barack Obama edged John McCain 50% to 49% in the 2008 election to carry North Carolina, but just 44% of the state's voters now approve of the job he is doing as president. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove. This is in line with the job approval ratings Obama earns nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of North Carolina voters favor repeal of the new national health care law, while 35% oppose repeal. This includes 43% who Strongly Favor repeal and 24% who are Strongly Opposed. These findings are comparable to voter attitudes nationwide.

But 52% of the state's voters say repeal of the health care law will be good for the economy.

As in other states around the country, voters in the Tar Heel State put economic issues far ahead on their list of concerns this election season. Seven percent (7%) of the state's voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, but 59% describe it as poor. Twenty-two percent (22%) say the economy is getting better; 51% believe it is getting worse.

Seventy-one percent (71%) say the country is in a recession.

Eighty-five percent (85%) know someone who is out of work and looking for a job. While 13% think the job market is getting better, 44% say it's worsening.

Burr is viewed favorably by 56% of North Carolina voters and unfavorably by 33%. This includes 22% with a Very Favorable opinion and 13% with a Very Unfavorable one.

Forty-six percent (46%) regard Marshall favorably, with 19% Very Favorable. Thirty-six percent (36%) hold an unfavorable opinion of her, including 14% Very Unfavorable.

Forty-four percent (44%) approve of the job Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue is doing, while 54% disapprove. These findings are unchanged from last month.

See toplines for other data from this survey. Full demographic data is available to Platinum Members only.

In 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected nationally that Obama would defeat McCain by a 52% to 46% margin. Obama won 53% to 46%. Four years earlier, Rasmussen Reports projected the national vote totals for both George W. Bush and John Kerry within half-a-percentage-point.

In North Carolina, Rasmussen Reports polled on three races during the 2008 campaign. In the race for president, Rasmussen polling showed McCain over Obama by a point, 50% to 49%. Obama ended up edging out McCain 50% to 49%. In the 2008 North Carolina Senate race, Rasmussen polling showed Kay Hagan defeating Elizabeth Dole 52% to 46%, and Hagan won 53% to 44%. Rasmussen Reports was the first to show Hagan leading Dole. In the governor's race, the final Rasmussen poll showed Pat McCrory leading Perdue 51%-47%. Perdue won 50% to 47%.

In the 2004 presidential race, Rasmussen polling in North Carolina showed Bush defeating Kerry 53% to 43%. Bush won the state 56% to 44%.

See all Rasmussen Reports 2008 state results for president, Senate and governor. See 2006 results for Senate and governor. See 2004 state results for president.

Rasmussen Reports has recently surveyed Senate races in Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Sources: Carolina Politics Online, McClatchy Newspapers, Youtube, Google Maps

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