U.S. Sen. Richard Burr leads seven potential contenders.
In a survey by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, the Winston-Salem Republican had an advantage over seven Democrats when given only name, party and sometimes title.
In order from Burr's biggest to smallest leads:
Burr (48) Walter Dalton (29) Undecided (22)
Burr (44) Heath Shuler (28) Undecided (28)
Burr (47) Bob Etheridge (31) Undecided (22)
Burr (47) Richard Moore (34) Undecided (19)
Burr (44) Dan Blue (33) Undecided (23)
Burr (46) Elizabeth Edwards (35) Undecided (19)
The firm also tested former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, giving a two-sentence glowing description about his time in Iraq and as a former state senator:
Burr (42) Cunningham (34) Undecided (24)
"Although it's taking Democrats a while to get a candidate, Burr's standing is still tenuous, and getting someone with a lot of name recognition isn't necessarily that important to winning next year," said pollster Dean Debnam.
The firm did not test Durham attorney Kenneth Lewis, who has said he may run.