Some interesting numbers released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling on the governor's race and the General Assembly.
- Pat McCrory still leads Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, 43 percent to 36 percent. But the more interesting number is that McCrory is pulling independent voters, 47 percent to 25 percent.
Another big number: About 70 percent of voters polled know who McCrory is, while only 51 percent know who Dalton is.
That's big, especially since only 63 percent of Democrats are committed to Dalton.
McCrory has had four years to stump and raise money after his defeat to Gov. Bev Perdue in 2008. He's criss-crossed the state, shaking hands and raising money, and it's paying off.
It also shows just how irrelevant the lieutenant governor's office is in North Carolina, when it comes to name recognition. Remember, the governor and lieutenant governor don't run on a ticket in the Tar Heel State, so if you want to be the second-in-command, you have to hard twice as hard to get your name out there.
Now, Dalton isn't low on hope just yet. PPP showed that undecided voters skew toward the Democrats, so if folks show up to vote straight-party for President Barack Obama, then McCrory's lead drops to 4 percent, and Dalton is still in the race.
That is, if he can capitalize on the next set of numbers PPP reported:
- Voters disapprove of the Republican-controlled General Assembly. Only 22 percent approve of the legislature's performance this session, with 52 percent disapproving.
Even Republicans don't like how their party did, with only 34 percent approving and 36 percent disapproving. Independents and Democrats, as expected, overwhelmingly disapproved of the legislature this session, 19 percent to 54 percent and 16 percent to 64 percent, respectively.
Democrats have been going after McCrory in attack ads on ethical issues while he was mayor of Charlotte, but it looks like those attacks haven't stuck.
If the Democrats can connect the unpopular actions of the General Assembly to McCrory effectively, that could turn the tide in a close election.
Read the full results here.