Poll: GOP Sen. Burr Continues To Lead Unknown Dems, But Stays Under 50%

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March 17, 2010 9:58 a.m.

A new survey by Public Policy Polling (D) shows Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) continuing to lead his unknown Democratic rivals — but at the same time, he continues to be a vulnerable incumbent.

Burr’s approval rating among registered voters is only 35%, with a disapproval rating of 37%, and a whole 28% undecided — he is neither popular nor unpopular, and instead has not really made any impression with the voters. Against a generic Democrat, Burr has 41% to the generic Dem’s 39%.Against actual Democratic candidates, Burr leads former state Sen. Cal Cunningham by 43%-32%, leads attorney Kenneth Lewis by 43%-32%, and is ahead of Secretary of State Elaine Marshall by 41%-36%.

It should be noted that 85% of respondents had no opinion of Cunningham, 85% had no opinion of Lewis, and 71% had no opinion of Marshall. So while Burr is ahead, he is nevertheless under the 50% mark against three candidates about whom voters have little to no knowledge.

The pollster’s analysis suggests that the Democrats could have room to grow, as they become more known: “Burr holds a 16-20 point lead with independents against all three of the Democratic candidates, and has 83-85% of the Republican vote locked up while the Democrats poll at 59-64% within their own party.

“There continue to be indications that this race will tighten up once the Democrats have a nominee.”

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