First, McCrory’s five-year campaign has given him an edge. Second, the race conforms to the inelastic contours of North Carolina’s split electorate. Third, nobody really knows these guys yet. And, fourth, McCrory still leads in the other number that counts: cash.
According to the Democratic poll, by Garin-Hart-Yang, “(McCrory’s) drop is due largely to the TV ads raising questions about his special interest connections and failure to release his taxes that would shed light on which interests he has actually worked for. This means Walter Dalton is now well within striking distance.”
The other side has its spin: “Any one poll is a snapshot of voter sentiment,” said Francis De Luca, Civitas president. “More important are the trends over time, and those trends show McCrory maintaining a significant lead.”
So both agree McCrory is ahead. But the Democratic poll sees hope: “…our survey finds that Barack Obama holds a 46% to 44% advantage over Mitt Romney, and in a VERY positive sign for Dalton, undecided voters in the governor’s race prefer Obama by a two to one margin.”
In other words, the Democratic vote is eventually going to coalesce for Dalton, making it essentially a tie. Which, of course, makes sense in a state where some 90-plus percent of the voters already know how they are going to vote in November.
The race comes down to which candidate does a better job of defining himself and the other guy. That is, who has the best TV. And the most.
Right now, it looks like McCrory will have the most money to spend. That’s the (multi) million-dollar elephant in this room.