PPP Tests a Bunch of Challengers

Today Public Policy Polling tested a large number of potential challengers to Richard Burr for US Senate in 2010.


Burr is under 50% against everyone, which is usually a sign that an incumbent is in serious trouble.

Burr versus...
Elizabeth Edwards 35-46
Dan Blue 33-44
Richard Moore 34-47
Bob Etheridge 31-47
Heath Shuler 28-44
Walter Dalton 29-48

They also tested Cal Cunningham, but because he has a much smaller name recognition than all of those folks they gave him the benefit of a 2 sentence biography. After that Burr leads Cal by only 8 points, 34-42. As Tom puts it:

That's an important reminder that having a good story to tell is more important for potential challengers to Burr than initial name id

Tom closes out by saying:

Now Democrats are going to have to make a choice- do they get a Shuler or McIntyre who have big bank accounts and a good position from which to raise more or do they go more towards a Cunningham who might need more help raising money but can run as an outsider in an election cycle where not having any Washington taint could be a very good thing? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

I know where I stand of those three, but its nice to have some numbers that show Burr is going to have a very tough fight almost no matter what.


Should Add

In 2007 everyone (including the DSCC) got very excited about Grier Martin being at 37-43 against Elizabeth Dole. So these are very strong numbers for Cal.

"Keep the Faith"

Cal's Bio

I'd be interested in knowing what exactly they said about Cal in those 2 sentences. He does have an extremely impressive resume and, I agree with Tom somewhat, that having an "outside Washington" appeal at this point is a great mantra on which to build. But did they talk more about his combat experience, his State Representative experience, or his personal background? These are all key points in how those #s play out.

I will say this, I think Cal is a tremendous candidate, as well as both able and likely to "upset" Burr. Of course, there are many other factors still floating around there, but the important part is to know that Burr is not polling well where it counts - his base.

I am also a bit reticent to acknowledge that double digit lead they have Burr with amongst independents in every face-off. How is Burr reaching out more to them and less to his own right wing base? Interesting findings to say the least.

-- A liberal originally from Yadkin County. Did I just blow your mind?


Cal Cunningham is a Democrat and former State Senator who fought in the General Assembly to invest in job training, education and protecting the environment. After September 11th, Cunningham joined the Army reserves, twice volunteered for active duty and was awarded the bronze star for his efforts to have contractors in Iraq prosecuted for their crimes.

"Keep the Faith"

Bronze Star for what?

Not to take anything away from his service but to be awarded a Bronze Star for "his efforts to have contractors in Iraq prosecuted for their crimes." seems to be a little lite.

From Wikipedia:

The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who meets specific qualifications:

While serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The Bronze Star Medal is only awarded to service members in combat who are receiving imminent danger pay.

For acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star.

For meritorious achievement or meritorious service. The merit or acts of valor must be less than that required for the Legion of Merit but must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

They either accidently or on

They either accidently or on purpose, left Jim Neal out of the poll. I hope it was not intentional, we need to remember that Jim is still a viable candidate and at this point, we should be happy if anyone declares.

I am getting tired of the Anti Jim Neal sentiment going on around the Progressive community.

And please tell me why in the heck Elizabeth Edwards would run, it makes no sense at all. There is no point in putting her in these polls.

Didn't leave him out

Back in February they tested Neal and Cunningham. Neal was at 44-30 and Cal was at 46-27 (Difference is that this time they read a bio for Cal).

So they didn't leave him out at all. And I haven't seen any anti-Jim posts, we just aren't going to draft him.

"Keep the Faith"

Yes but public opinion might

Yes but public opinion might have changed between then and now. I would like them to do a poll on him now. The numbers will certainly have changed in the 3 months since the last time he was considered.