Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton opened a double-digit lead against rival Bob Etheridge in the Democratic primary for governor, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey released Monday.
Dalton's 36 percent to Etheridge's 26 percent represents a huge surge in April. At the start of the month, Etheridge held a 10-point lead with many voters undecided. His advantage began to evaporate by mid-month as Dalton spent about $400,000 on a TV advertising campaign and appeared to win many of those uncommitted Democrats.
A week ago, polls showed Dalton and Etheridge in a dead heat (26 percent to 25 percent, respectively).
The latest PPP survey of 500 likely Democratic voters has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points.
Looking inside the numbers: Dalton winning black voters. a key demographic, 41 percent to 23 percent, and breaking even with Etheridge in the Raleigh area -- a huge change from a week ago when Etheridge won this major Democratic hub by 12 percentage points.
State Rep. Bill Faison of Orange County is getting about 5 percent of the vote. Three other candidates received 3 percent or less. Get pollster Tom Jensen's analysis here.