U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's approval rating remains below 40 percent, which might ordinarily be bad news for a politician, but he's still ahead of any of his potential Democratic challengers in next year's election, according to a poll released Friday.
The approval rating for Burr, a Republican, was 38 percent, according to the survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm. In matchups against possible Democratic opponents, Burr beat:
U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, of Lillington, by 41 to 34 percent.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who officially launched her candidacy this week, and former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker, by the same margin of 42 to 31 percent.
Former N.C. Sen. Cal Cunningham by 42 to 30 percent.
Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy by 43 to 29 percent.
Durham lawyer Kenneth Lewis by 43 to 27 percent.
The survey of 600 voters was taken Sept. 2 to 8 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.