Yes, Congressman Brad Miller (D, NC-13), that is the sound of a very large woman singing.
Miller, of Raleigh, has been trying hard to establish himself as the most liberal white man representing our state in Washington. Brad Miller was a state senator chairing the redistricting committee in 2000. North Carolina was gaining a congressional seat, and Miller took it upon himself to draw one that included his home and senate district. Miller also took that opportunity to redistrict several of his GOP legislative colleagues out of office. Now, the tables have turned. The GOP controls the legislature and the redistricting process. Republicans, with that elephant-like long memory, have drawn Miller’s home outside of the 13th district, and made the new 13th district unwinnable for Miller or any other Democrat. Miller’s home is now in the 4th district, currently represented by his Democrat colleague David Price. Miller has been contemplating a primary challenge to Price. A new report out of Washington indicates what kind of uphill battle that will be:
If Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., does decide to primary Rep. David Price, D-N.C., next year, he’ll start off at a significant disadvantage, according to a poll conducted for Price’s campaign.
Obtained by Hotline On Call from a Democratic source, the polling memo from Democratic firm Garin-Hart-Yang shows Price would take 46 percent of the vote to Miller’s 25 percent, with 29 percent of those surveyed still undecided. Of the roughly three-fifths of voters who said they were familiar with both Democratic incumbents, Price’s lead grows to 50 percent, while Miller registers 28 percent support.
“Price’s early advantage is not just the product of higher name recognition,” the polling memo concludes.
The dean of the state’s Democratic delegation, Price’s voters are also more committed to him, according to the poll. Seventy-two percent of Price’s voters say they strongly support him, but just 42 percent of Miller’s voters feel that way. Price’s personal favorability rating is also nearly nine-to-one positive, and three in five voters rated his performance as excellent or good.
Miller hasn’t yet declared where he’ll run in 2012, but the five-term Democrat is looking like he is moving toward challenging Price in the 4th District after Tar Heel State Republicans chopped up his 13th District, making it virtually unwinnable for a Democrat. Miller’s home is barely inside the 4th District. But lately, he’s been lining up support in his hometown of Fayetteville, now within the 4th District.
The survey tested 404 likely Democratic primary voters from the new 4th congressional district between Oct. 17 and 19, and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.
That small sample of polled voters does raise concerns for me about the accuracy of this poll. Still, that is a large margin between the two men. Clearly, someone in our Nation’s Capital is sending Miller a message. If that report wasn’t bad enough news for Miller, The N&O has this:
A source tells Dome that two key Miller allies even appeared at a Price fundraiser in Raleigh earlier this month: Mark Harkins, Miller’s former chief of staff, and Marilyn Forbes, a top Miller fundraiser for his 2008 campaign.