Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Charlotteans don't think much of Gov. Perdue

The gist of PPP's latest poll is that voters in Charlotte don't think Gov. Bev Perdue has paid them enough attention. Here's Tom Jensen's latest:

Bev Perdue opened an office in Charlotte and has made a point of visiting the city, but voters there still don't think she's been attentive to them since taking office.

58% of voters feel she's been inattentive to the city's needs so far, while just 25% think she has been. It's no surprise that 77% of Republicans and 63% of independents feel that way but even among Democrats 42% think she should be doing more for Charlotte while only 37% feel like she's done a good job so far on that front.

Perdue's overall rating with Charlotte voters, at 32% approval and 52% disapproval, is actually better than her statewide numbers. That may not be saying much though given what a Democratic city it is. 48% of Democrats, 28% of independents, and 11% of Republicans give her positive marks.

Perdue has a long way to go if she hopes to replicate her surprise victory in the city last year in 2012.

Much more popular with Charlotteans is Barack Obama, who has a 52% approval rating with 42% disapproving of his job performance in the city. 84% of Democrats, 48% of independents, and 9% of Republicans give him good reviews.

Obama's basically been pursuing a swing state strategy in the places he's visited since taking office, so who knows, maybe we'll see him in Charlotte for Anthony Foxx sometime during early voting. Given that his approval runs 17 points ahead of Foxx's vote share with independents, a visit from him could prove to be decisive in what's shaping up as a very close race.

See http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2009/08/perdue-struggling-in-charlotte.html

Monday, August 17, 2009

Charlotte mayor's race: 'close right to the end'

Public Policy Polling, which does a lot of work for Democratic candidates, says the race for Charlotte mayor is a virtual dead heat and will remain close right up until the end. Republican John Lassiter has a razor thin lead of 44-43 over Democrat Anthony Fox, says PPP analyst Tom Jensen.

Here's his analysis:

The race to be the next mayor of Charlotte is a statistical dead heat, with Republican John Lassiter leading Democrat Anthony Foxx 44-43 in the contest to replace Pat McCrory.

Both candidates are pretty popular with the city's electorate. 53% have a favorable opinion of Lassiter, with only 22% viewing him negatively and 48% have a positive one of Foxx with 22% holding an unfavorable opinion of him as well. It's unusual in the increasingly polarized world of partisan politics to see both candidates in a race sporting a better than 2:1 positive favorability ratio.

There are two key groups of voters who may well decide this race: independents and the Democratic voters whose crossover support of Pat McCrory has allowed the Republican to remain mayor of the Democratic city for over a decade. Lassiter has a 47-31 lead with independents, but Foxx has the 59-30 advantage with Democrats who approve of McCrory's job performance, indicating that he will do a better job of locking up his party's vote than recent Democratic nominees have.

Voters send conflicting messages about the direction of the city. On one hand McCrory has an excellent 57% approval rating, something that should aid Lassiter, who likely would be an extension of the current administration. On the other hand 59% of voters say that it's time for change in how the city is led with only 34% saying they're happy with how things are going currently, a sentiment that Foxx's campaign should be able to successfully tap into.

So far in the campaign Lassiter has put a heavy emphasis on his experience, while Foxx has been more focused on his vision for the city. By a 60-28 margin voters say that they are more concerned about a candidate's vision when deciding who to vote for than his experience.

Here are two things each candidate needs to focus on to win:

Anthony Foxx

-One very good piece of news for Foxx is that black voters appear to be motivated to come out this fall- we expect them to make up at least 30% of the electorate. Right now Foxx has a 70-17 lead with them. If he can push that up closer to Obama levels- 90% or more- he's going to be very difficult to beat.

-Although he's certainly doing a better job than most Democratic candidates for mayor have done lately of locking up the white Democratic vote, he's still losing 25% of it to Lassiter at this point. Getting his party more unified around him would go a long way.

John Lassiter

-Right now he's only getting 62% of the vote from people who approve of Pat McCrory's job performance. If he can do more to convince those folks happy with the current leadership that he'll provide continuity his numbers will improve.

-Do a better job of earning support from voters who have a favorable opinion of both him and Foxx- right now the Democrat has a 57-36 lead with their mutual admirers but conceivably those are folks who could go either way- Lassiter needs to get more of them to go his way.
This race looks like it will probably be close right to the end.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hagan - and Helms - support Sotomayor

North Carolina's Democratic senator Kay Hagan voted for Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation today to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in an acknowledgment of conservative leanings in the state, Hagan's statement pointed out an interesting past Sotomayor supporter - former Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, who died last year. Said Hagan:

“With 17 years on the federal bench, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in 100 years. Judge Sotomayor said in her confirmation hearing that her underlying judicial philosophy is ‘fidelity to the law.’ She has an established record as a moderate judge whose decisions show a respect for precedent.

“In 1998, Sen. Jesse Helms voted for her confirmation to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Based on her record and testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, I was proud to support her historic confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.”