North Carolina: Poll Shows Cunningham Closing In on Marshall

Posted April 27, 2010 at 6:57pm

With one week to go before the Democratic primary, former state Sen. Cal Cunningham has fought his way to a statistical tie with Secretary of State Elaine Marshall in the race for the Senate nomination.

The latest survey by Public Policy Polling found Marshall statistically tied with Cunningham, 26 percent to 23 percent. The poll had a 4.6-point margin of error.

Four other Democratic candidates, including attorney Ken Lewis, polled in the single digits.

The survey conducted April 24-26 by PPP, a firm based in the state with a stable of Democratic clients, included 458 likely Democratic primary voters.

It found that Marshall performed best among liberals, whites and voters over 65 while Cunningham held the advantage among conservatives, African-Americans and voters under 30.

A PPP survey conducted just before Cunningham’s first ad started running found Marshall leading 23 percent to 17 percent.

The latest poll found that 34 percent of voters called themselves undecided. With that many voters yet to pick a candidate, there’s a very real chance that no Democrat would achieve the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. If necessary, a runoff would take place June 22.

Cunningham loaned his campaign $86,000 last week.

The winner of the Democratic primary will take on Sen. Richard Burr (R) this fall.