In a crowded Democratic field for governor, only Erskine Bowles can match Republican Pat McCrory at this point, according to a poll released Monday.
Bowles, the former two-time U.S. Senate candidate, trails McCrory 44 to 42 percent in a hypothetical matchup -- a virtual deadlock with McCrory's advantage within the 4.2 percent margin of error. The problem: Bowles isn't in the race yet.
The Public Policy Polling survey tested 13 Democratic candidates against McCrory, the likely GOP nominee and former Charlotte mayor, after Gov. Bev Perdue dropped out. Pollster Tom Jensen argues that Democrats have a better chance with Perdue out of the race. In a generic partisan matchup, voters split evenly -- 46 percent supporting a Democratic candidates and 45 percent supporting a Republican.