In the race to replace Congressman Mel Watt, state Sen. Malcolm Graham of Charlotte and Rep. Alma Adams of Greensboro have the early edge, according to a new survey.
Graham leads with 31 percent, while Adams has 22 percent according a survey by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh firm with Democratic leanings. George Battle III and state Rep. Beverly Earle poll at 8 percent, state Rep. Marcus Brand has 5 percent, Harold Cogdell and state Rep. Rodney Monroe at 3 percent and Torre Jessup, Ed Hanes and Avery Staley each have 1 percent.
Graham is helped by his strong showing in Mecklenburg County which accounts for more than half of the 12th district. He get 50 percent of the vote there with Earle at 12 percent, and Battle at 10 percent.
Much of the early lead is based on name recognition with Graham the best known candidate and Adams the second best known candidate.
Graham, a 50-year old business consultant and former Charlotte City Councilman, is serving his sixth term in the Senate. Adams, a 67-year old retired college professor and former Greensboro City Councilwoman, is serving her 11th term in the House.
Watt has been nominated by President Obama to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The poll of 521 likely Democratic voters was conducted May 29-30 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.