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Burr Consultant Pushes Back by Releasing Poll

Clarification Appended

A poll released Thursday by a polling firm owned by Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-N.C.) top campaign consultant revealed the messages the Senator is testing for his 2010 re-election race.

The Carolina Strategy Group poll, which was in the field June 15 and 16, showed that more than half of North Carolina voters disapproved of the job that Congress is doing under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Further, the poll found that more than half of voters preferred a Republican Congress to “act as a check and balance to keep the Democrats from going too far” over a Democratic Congress that would “help President Obama enact his agenda.”

Although Burr’s poll showed him winning in a race against Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, the survey question was not a standard head-to-head ballot test but was instead preceded by questions about which of the two could better serve as a “check and balance on the policies of President Obama.”

Asked Wednesday why the survey only included Marshall and not other candidates who are known to be contemplating the race — such as Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) — Burr’s campaign spokesman Paul Shumaker, who also runs Carolina Strategy Group, said Marshall was picked because she is “probably the best known” and the only potential Democrat mentioned for the race who has run statewide before.

The Tar Heel State-based Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling has been releasing monthly polls testing Burr’s re-election strength since the cycle began, and the news generally hasn’t been good for the first-term Senator.

Earlier this week, a PPP poll found that just under half of North Carolina voters believe it’s time for someone else to replace Burr in the Senate while just less than 30 percent believe Burr deserves another term.

Clarification: June 19, 2009

The original story indicated that the poll was an internal survey done for Burr’s campaign when in fact it was conducted by Carolina Strategy Group, a firm run by Shumaker, and not paid for by the campaign.

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