23, 17, 9, 5
Those are the numbers in the newest (only) public poll released on the Lt. Governor's race. The big number, though, is 46 - that's the number of undecided voters in the race. The MoE is 5.
Walter Dalton has the backing of the entire Democratic State Senate, 53 Sheriffs, and all the money industry can throw at him. He's been on the air for months with the same ad repeating his name over and over and claiming to have saved the world from destruction and done everything but deliver babies, and he can't get over 23.
A progressive is going to win this election, and it's going to be Hampton Dellinger.
I told you we can win this!
Here's the information from WRAL, which sponsored the poll with the Mason Dixon organization:
On the Democratic side, 46 percent of voters remain undecided, according to the poll.
State Sen. Walter Dalton, D-Cleveland, leads among voters who have made up their minds, at 23 percent. Hampton Dellinger, a chief legal counsel for Gov. Mike Easley, is close behind at 17 percent.
Canton Mayor Pat Smathers, a retired lieutenant colonel in the North Carolina National Guard, garnered 9 percent support in the poll, while Dan Besse, a lawyer and former Winston-Salem councilman, is backed by 5 percent.
What is important to note here is that (1) Hampton's latest ad was not out when this poll was taken and (2) our work at the polls in early voting is not reflected in these numbers.
Early voters have come to the polls undecided, just like these poll respondents, and throughout North Carolina, they are being met by Dellinger volunteers, and when they come back out of the polls, they tell us they voted for Hampton Dellinger. We are the only campaign on the ground throughout the state working like this.
We're going to win.
We need your help to seal the deal.
Dan Besse and Pat Smathers are good men with much to qualify them for the office they seek. I like them both. But they both need to be able to push their support over the 10-15 percent mark in order to force this thing into a runoff. If they can't, then someone is going to win it outright on Tuesday. I don't think I am wrong when I say that those who support Besse and Smathers would be disappointed if Senator Dalton won this thing outright.
There is another choice. Hampton. He can win this thing Tuesday, but I would feel much better if that 5 percent that is currently in Dan Besse's column was lined up behind Hampton Dellinger. As the Independent said last week, on the issues that matter, it's hard to find policy daylight between Dellinger and Besse. Mayor Smathers' 9 would look mighty good added to our 17.
Make your own decision on whom to support if you haven't already voted. But I am asking for your support for my friend Hampton Dellinger. He's the right guy for the job.
He has momentum. The Charlotte Observer, which called him "an aggressive, ambitious advocate for change," said his "ideas are bold but rooted in the state's traditions . . . the kind of leadership a growing North Carolina needs."
Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, one of the pioneers of grassroots smart growth advocacy in North Carolina, endorsed Hampton yesterday.
Rep. Ty Harrell, Wake County's great first term Representative, just called out the troops for Hampton in Western Wake, and will work the polls for him on election day.
Charlotte City Councilman Anthony Foxx threw his support to Hampton, as have former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Chapel Hill mayor Kevin Foy and everyday North Carolinians, young and old, who are showing their endorsements by meeting their neighbors at early voting locations across the state and asking for their vote on behalf of Hampton.
In the last two days I have had several off-the-record conversations with Democratic insiders who have consistently told me two things: (1) Dellinger's campaign has surprised the Establishment with its discipline and its widespread effort, and (2) the Dalton campaign isn't sure how to respond.
This race was supposed to be over when the Senator declared. It was supposed to be over when he announced the support of the Democratic Senate Caucus. It was supposed to be over when the first financing reports went out last summer. It was supposed to be over after the first few debates. It was supposed to be over when the Senator went on the air in heavy rotation.
It ain't over.
Hampton can win. If you wanted proof of that, look at that undecided number, juicy fruit waiting to be plucked by the candidate with momentum; with bold ideas and a plan to win; with both an air campaign and an army of volunteers throughout the state, keeping up with the professionals at their own game.
This is fun.
This is the race where you can make an impact. Join the fun, sign up at http://www.hd08.com. Or heck, just email me.