Free name recognition may end up costing Kenneth Lewis.
A Dec. 11-13 survey of 593 likely North Carolina voters found that 80 percent of state residents are unsure of how they feel about Lewis. But PPP noted that in the Charlotte area code of 704, there are lots of strong opinions about "Kenneth Lewis."
Of the voters in that area code surveyed by PPP, 39 percent had an opinion, and many of those opinions — 27 percent — were negative. PPP's Tom Jensen postulates that Lewis may be a victim of his name.
There's another Ken Lewis, familiar to many in the Charlotte-area: outgoing Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis.
Bank of America's Ken Lewis was once a popular figure in Charlotte, Rick Rothacker and Christina Rexrode of The Charlotte Observer reported.
A little more than a year ago, Lewis was hailed as the savior of Wall Street when he swooped in to buy Merrill Lynch on the brink of collapse during a frenzied weekend amid the financial crisis. At the time he called it a career-capping "deal of a lifetime," but by December he was trying to abandon the purchase as Merrill's losses ballooned. After regulators pressed him to proceed, the bank accepted more government aid and became a symbol for the nation's bailed-out banks.
There is plenty of time left for Chapel Hill Ken Lewis to show voters that he is not Charlotte Ken Lewis. Look for all of Chapel Hill Ken Lewis' ads and signs in Charlotte to include a photograph of the candidate.