It’s been quite a week for polls in NC politics. The first one is from American Insights, which purportedly wants to become the conservative alternative to PPP. They didn’t poll the Senate race, but they show President Obama with a 43/49 approval here, which is better than what other polling organizations have found for him.

They also show Republicans with a 44-38 lead on the generic congressional ballot, but redistricting makes that result pretty much irrelevant. But it does support the idea that 2014 is shaping up to be a GOP year, and might give comfort to Rep. Renee Ellmers in her bid against Clay Aiken. The poll also finds that voters do not want to see President Obama’s agenda “implemented on the state level in North Carolina” (38%-48%). Vulnerable GOP legislators in NC might seek to defend themselves by nationalizing their races.

The next two polls are internal polls. The first is from Clay Aiken’s campaign. It apparently shows Aiken with a 22-point lead, with Toni Morris in second and Keith Crisco lagging behind them both in third place. Nobody has a link to these results, and it’s possible that the poll wasn’t even conducted. Regardless, Crisco being in third place is questionable, even though Aiken could very well win the primary by 22 points. At this point, no one really knows what’s going on in this race. Is Aiken’s campaign ‘releasing’ an internal poll a sign of strength or weakness? We don’t know.

Finally, the poll that’s gotten the most coverage is the one from Mark Harris. It shows the following results for the U.S. Senate Republican primary:

33% Tillis
22% Harris
12% Brannon

This poll, if accurate, is good news for Tillis. It puts him closer to the 40% threshold than any other survey, the percentage of the vote required to avoid a runoff. However, there are a number of concerns with this poll; it draws from a sample of “very likely” voters and some have said it’s a push poll, intending to push voters into the Harris camp.

The GOP Senate primary is heating up. Both Greg Brannon and Mark Harris are attacking Tillis on ‘character’ issues. Republicans desperately need to avoid an ugly runoff here, but it looks like an ugly runoff is what they’re going to get. Yesterday, the Cook Political Report moved NC-Sen from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss-Up”. Given the developments over the past two weeks, that’s a curious decision.


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