For this poll, respondents were asked to choose between Dole and Etheridge. Etheridge has little name ID outside of his district. He is known mostly as a strong voice for his district, and for being a good run of the mill Democrat. However, very few people know him west of Raleigh.
And yet, he only loses to Elizabeth Dole 45-30.
This poll is especially significant when one considers that much of the people who know Etheridge probably also know that he is not running for Senate. He is happy in the new majority, and will not be running. But, he does have a big enough name that the DSCC would certainly be happy with him running.
What does it say when an incumbent Senator with massive name id cant beat an almost unknown congressman who isnt running with more than 50% of the vote?
Big news out of this poll though, is this:
Debnam said the polling group will pit other hypothetical candidates, perhaps including U.S. Rep. Brad Miller of Raleigh, against Dole in future polls.
Now, for poll specifics. (Beware of PDF)
First, Dole's approval is up from 36 approval and 36 disapproval from last month. She now stands at 43 approve and 31 disapproval. Healthy numbers for an incumbent would be 50-60 approve with under 25 disapproval. She is still not looking good.
Second, within Etheridge's district, he leads 42-41. Meaning that a Dem with name ID is going to beat her up.
Third, Etheridge's lack of name id significantly hurts him in important areas. For instance, among blacks statewide he only leads 47 to 12. Expect Dole to get under 15% no matter what on election day there.
Fourth, and most important for our chances is the Presidential numbers. Generic D presidential nominee leads Generic R presidential nominee 43 to 41.
Fifth, and almost as important, is strength of support. After answering who they wanted to be President, they were asked how important that choice was. 64% of people who wanted a Dem to win in 08 thought it was extremely important for a Democrat to win. only 56% of Republican supporters thought their choice as extremely important.
Some other important observations.
When asked if they support universal health care or the current system, UHC leads 51 to 37.
On the question of who should be president, we lead by 9 points amongst independent voters.
Please, help us defeat Elizabeth Dole. I would like Brad Miller to run, give him some hints with this petition or this ActBlue page. If you arent sure about Brad Miller, but want to see us beat Dole anyway, please give some money here.