It's far from a sure thing that Rep. Mel Watt will get confirmed as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Republicans have made it clear they don't like the nomination, which means they'll likely use procedural maneuvers to require 60 votes, not just a majority, for Watt to get confirmed. That's a high hill to climb.
So consider Public Policy Polling's latest NC-12 survey a just-in-case kind of thing. The poll, released earlier Tuesday, shows N.C. Sen. Malcom Graham as the frontrunner to replace Watt. Graham got 31 percent of the vote, ahead of Alma Adams, who at 22 perceent was the only other candidate in double digits. Attorney George Battle III, who announced his candidacy this week, is tied with N.C. Rep Beverly Earle at 8 percent, followed by N.C. Rep Marcus Brandon at 5 percent, former Mecklenburg commissioner Harold Cogdell and N.C. Rep. Rodney Moore at 3 percent. All are Democrats except Cogdell, who is an independent.
Graham has the advantage of name recognition in Mecklenburg County thanks to his time in Raleigh, his six years on the Charlotte City Council and ties to Johnson C. Smith University. He's the only candidate that more than half the respondents knew recognized. Earle, Cogdell and Battle aren't far behind, however. And that's what campaigns are for.