The often-overlooked races for the state's top posts are surprisingly close this campaign season with Republican challengers keeping it close against Democratic incumbents, according to a new poll.
In the lieutenant governor's race, Republican Dan Forest and Democrat Linda Coleman are essentially tied, a Public Policy Polling sruvey shows, with Forest holding a one-point advantage (38 to 37 percent) within the margin of error.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a Democratic incumbent who won by 14 points in 2008, leads Republican challenger Ed Goodwin, a first-time statewide candidate by just six points, 43 percent to 37 percent. Democratic Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin leads Republican rival Mike Causey by four points. Goodwin won in 2008 by seven percentage points.
"The Republican strength at the top of the ticket looks to be making the other statewide offices more competitive than usual this year as well," writes pollster Tom Jensen with PPP, a Democratic firm.