NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall LEADS Senator Burr!

Cross-posted over at Daily Kos:

Guess who just took the lead in North Carolina?

Elaine Marshall..........37%
Richard Burr..............35%

...this was conducted by Lake Research, one of the best in the business. From their report:

The horserace is ominous for Burr. A month after her impressive win in the Democratic runoff, Marshall holds a slight lead with 37% compared to 35% for Burr. Libertarian candidate Mike Beitler takes 5% support and 23% of voters are undecided.

I'm live from Netroots Nation where Elaine will be tomorrow, but this is some of the biggest buzz on the ground here in Vegas. I didn't have enough time to write up a full post, but the long and short of it is that North Carolina voters have abandoned Senator Burr citing his incompetence and laziness as a Senator.

The full memo is below the fold.

Burr is the MOST vulnerable Republican in the country, and we have a chance to replace him with a strong leader like Elaine Marshall. But we can't do it without all of you -- so please chip in a few bucks today!



To: Interested Parties
From: Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri
Re: Polling in the North Carolina Senate Race
Date: July 22, 2010

A recent Lake Research Partners survey of likely voters in this year’s general election shows incumbent Republican Richard Burr very weak and extremely vulnerable to defeat. Barely a third of voters view him favorably or think he is doing an excellent or good job, and only one in four are committed to reelecting him. In short, he is the most vulnerable incumbent Republican Senator in the country and this seat represents a prime pickup opportunity as Democrats seek to hold control of the Senate. Elaine Marshall is in a strong position to defeat Burr if she has the funds to competitively communicate her message.

The horserace is ominous for Burr. A month after her impressive win in the Democratic runoff, Marshall holds a slight lead with 37% compared to 35% for Burr. Libertarian candidate Mike Beitler takes 5% support and 23% of voters are undecided.

Voters have abandoned Burr and he trails in the ballot for these reasons:

• Forty-three percent of voters hold a personally unfavorable view of Senator Burr, compared to just 34% who view him favorably; and voter intensity tips toward the very unfavorable (25%) rather than the very favorable (just 11%).

• Senator Burr’s job performance ratings suffer. A whopping majority of 58% of voters believe he is doing a just fair or poor job. Only 25% believe he is doing an excellent or good job. In fact, five times as many voters (30%) believe he is doing a poor job as believe he is doing an excellent job (just 6%).

• Only a quarter of voters (25%) say they will definitely vote to reelect Senator Burr, leaving 75% of voters who will definitely vote to replace him (31%), or consider someone else or do not know (44%).

• The political environment is horrible for Senator Burr and he will have a difficult time separating himself from the disappointment voters have with Washington. Seventy-two percent of voters describe their feelings about the way things are going in the country as “concerned”, “frustrated”, or “angry”. As the previous data indicate, voters see Burr as remarkably symbolic of their disappointment.

• Furthermore, on the issues voters care about the most, Senator Burr’s job performance is lacking. Majorities of voters believe he is doing a just fair or poor job on the economy and jobs, regulating Wall Street and big banks, Social Security and retirement security, and the deficit.

In sum, Senator Burr is in deep trouble. Only a quarter of voters are willing to defend him while the plurality dislikes him and the majority believes he is doing a just fair or poor job.

In contrast to Senator Burr, Marshall carries little of the baggage that he has to endure. In a year when voters are frustrated with Washington, Marshall has credibility as an agent for change. She has a record in stark contrast to Burr, recovering money from Wall Street, protecting seniors from scam artists, and fighting for women. She is well prepared to launch an effective general election campaign. Marshall can win this race and flip this seat for Democrats if she has the resources to be competitive.

Methods: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by phone using professional interviewers. The survey was conducted among 600 registered voters in North Carolina with past participation in similar elections and who say they are likely to vote this November. The survey was conducted July 15-19, 2010. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 4 percentage points.

Full disclosure: Lake Research conducted this poll for the campaign.


That is awesome

Both Ras & PPP have tended towards sample sizes of 500, so n of 600 looks even better. What kind of confidence level are we talking here, 95%?

Thanks ... you've been busy!

Now to nail the money game. Got any plans for Chapel Hill fundraisers?

Outlier and Conflict of Interest

OK, you've had your happy moment but look at where these numbers come from. Lake Research only does Democrat polling. The Marshall campaign paid them to construct this poll. They can only get more money from the Marshall campaign if Marshall raises more money than she has. The DSCC isn't sending money here because every poll except this one has Burr up double digits. Voila, a poll comes out showing Marshall with a lead and maybe, just maybe, the DSCC will believe it and chip in. Until Lake Research releases all of the attributes of their methodology, this is just a waste of good bytes....

Have a great weekend, I'm going to the mountains!

"A point in every direction is the same as no point at all" - Pointless Man

Not always the case

PPP is a "Democratic" polling firm. But they were one of the most accurate firms in 2008.

The fact that it's internal may lessen the credibility of the poll, but a pollster's lean doesn't always mean they're not objective.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

"every poll except this one has Burr up double digits"

The North Carolina Senate race is far from decided. Currently, Senator Richard Burr
leads Elaine Marshall 38 to 33. But with 20% of voters currently undecided the
candidates have a long way to go win this election.

Many voters have yet to form an opinion on either of the candidates. 28% of North
Carolina voters are unsure of their opinion of Senator Burr and 58% of Marshall.

While more voters know Senator Burr, more disapprove. 39% of North Carolinians give
the Senator low marks and only 34% approve of his work in Washington. The North
Carolinians who do know Marshall have a more favorable opinion than they do of the
sitting Senator: 22 to 20%.

Burr leads Marshall by just a single point, 43-42

46- 39

Richard Burr 44% Elaine Marshall 43%

Elaine Marshall..........37%
Richard Burr..............35%

I'd also point out that PPP is based in NC so it has something of a home field advantage, and they seem to be well rated in their accuracy:

"The Wall Street Journal ranked PPP as one of the top swing state pollsters in the country last year. (11-6-08 WSJ)"

Given that the Lake Research Poll used a larger sampling size, which can improve polling accuracy, that its Margin of Error is about the same or smaller than the others, and that its the most recent poll of all, I can buy these numbers are fairly accurate within the margin of error. And this definitely isn't a double digit race. But since you said every other poll shows a double digit spread, you set a low bar, in which 1 example would prove that wrong. And I've given more than one.

You're amazing

Great comment.

Okay, but check out this

Okay, but check out this pollster rating done this June. You are right about PPP but Lake Research is no where to be found. I'll bet that they are more of a campaign consulting firm looking for clients. Just be careful, this smells funny.

"A point in every direction is the same as no point at all" - Pointless Man

TPM poll average has this in the single digits

So does's average. That includes a number of Rasmussen polls weighing it down, and even with that they are still in the single digits on the average. So I don't how you came up with the idea that all polls have it in the double digits.

Examples of Rasmussen's bias:

Even if you don't by any

Even if you don't by any particular poll, the inescapable conclusion is that the race is dead even right now. Margin of error demands it. Which is fabulous news for Elaine Marshall and pure indictment for Richard Burr. This is what he has to show after 16 years in Congress?