RALEIGH – On the Democrat side of things, you’ve got a former N.C. Supreme Court Justice, a former Senate candidate, and an ‘up and coming’ state senator. The Republican side of the ledger features a former congressman, a former governor, probably an incumbent congressman, and a small chance of a Trump being on the primary ballot.
It’s a crowd, and the jostling has already started in earnest, but who’s really in the best position? A good question with only tentative answers, but some early polling results from Cardinal Point Analytics might be viewed as establishing a baseline.
For the Democrats, former chief justice Cheri Beasley has the lead. Recently on statewide ballots in the race to retain her seat as chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court (an incredibly close race in which she lost), Beasley also gathered political steam when Governor Roy Cooper appointed her to fill the chief justice vacancy. She was the first black woman chief justice, and the Woke points were leveraged to the max by Cooper and the Beasley campaign.
State Senator Jeff Jackson is polling right behind her, but he is a cis-gendered white male, so he really has to put the work in.
On the Republican side, the benefit of name ID resonates in these poll results. After just entering the race last week, former Governor Pat McCrory commands the lead among officially announce candidates. Actually, by these poll results, he’s trouncing former congressman Mark Walker, who’s been a declared candidate campaigning across the state since December.
But McCrory didn’t finish in first place, and it might also be name ID that saw him come in second. He was edged out by a prospective candidate — former President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump. There’s still no concrete indication that Trump is really getting in the race, but rumors and teases have kept the possibility alive.
These poll results might paint a low-resolution picture of how the primary candidates stack up against each other, but it’s still very early. Dynamics will undoubtedly change for one reason or another, and so everything before election day should be taken with healthy portion of salt.
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