Republican Sen Richard Burr leads Democrat Elaine Marshall by a 43-38 percent margin in a race in which there has been a sharp dropoff in Democratic interest from two years ago, according to a new poll.
The survey of likely voters by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm in Raleigh, has Libertarian candidate Michael Beitler polling 6 percent with 13 percent of the voters undecided, reports Rob Christensen.
The survey found that Burr remains somewhat unpopular with 38 percent approving of the job he is doing and 42 percent disapproving. But the majority of voters (54 percent) didn't know enough about Marshall to have an opinion.
Burr holds a 20-point lead over Marshall among independent voters, according to the survey.
According to an analysis by the polling firm, this is the first point in the election cycle where Burr is in a better position than Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole was during her 2008 election. That was because the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was running TV ads in August attacking Dole, the DSCC has not yet decided whether to help Marshall.
“North Carolina continues to clearly be Democrats' best chance to knock off a Republican incumbent,” said the pollster's report. “The question is just whether they'll have the money to do it.”