In North Carolina US Senate Primary, Republican Burr and Democrat Ross Positioned for Comfortable Wins; Burr 8 Points Atop Ross in General Election Matchup Today, But Supreme Court Confirmation Could Impact
2 weeks till primary voting begins in North Carolina and 4 weeks until primary votes are counted, Incumbent Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Deborah Ross appear poised to coast to victory, according to SurveyUSA research conducted for Time Warner Cable North Carolina. The Republican holds a narrow advantage today in a hypothetical general election matchup, but national events could influence the NC Senate outcome by a little or a lot.
* In the Republican primary, Burr leads Greg Brannon 3:1 … 45% to 14%. Other challengers are in single digits. 30% are undecided or not focused on the contest.
* In the Democratic primary, Ross leads 3 challengers by 4:1 or more. But: a majority, 55% are undecided or not focused on the contest at this hour. In the unlikely event that Ross does not reach 40% on 03/15/16, a May runoff could be necessary.
Among Republican primary voters, Burr polls above 50% among seniors, voters in Southern NC, Strong Republicans and Very Conservative voters. Among Democratic primary voters, Ross runs strong among well-educated voters, non-Evangelicals, among voters in Southern NC, and among voters who name health care as the most important issue in the campaign. Among all NC voters, Burr has a Minus 7 Net Job Approval: 34% of NC voters approve of the job Burr is doing as Senator; 41% disapprove. (By contrast, fellow U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, who is not up for re-election in 2016, has a Minus 11 Net Job Approval: 33% of voters approve of the job Tillis is doing as Senator, 44% disapprove.)
In a hypothetical general election matchup today, Republican Burr defeats Democrat Ross by 8 points, 45% to 37%. Burr leads by 22 points among white voters. Ross leads by 38 points among black voters. Burr leads by 33 points among voters with a high-school education. Ross leads narrowly among voters with a 4-year college degree. Burr leads by 13 points among men, by 4 points among women. Burr leads by 20 points in Southern NC, by 14 points in greater Charlotte and by 10 points in greater Greensboro. Ross leads by 6 points in greater Raleigh.
Caveat: Burr was quick to signal his support for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement that the US Senate should not hold confirmation hearings on a Supreme Court appointment made by Democratic President Barack Obama. The Democratic party and/or newly formed Super PACs may sink significant national dollars into the NC Senate race in an attempt to flip Burr’s seat from Red to Blue, in the Democratic hope of capturing 50 US Senate seats. Much may change in this contest between today and November.
Filtering: SurveyUSA interviewed 1,650 NC adults after the New Hampshire primary, between 02/14/16 and 02/16/16. Of the adults, 1,444 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 437 were identified by SurveyUSA as likely to vote in the Republican primary, 449 were identified as likely to vote in the Democratic primary. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (62% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (38% of registered voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.