Civitas poll should set off alarm bells for NCGOP, McCrory campaign







The latest poll by North Carolina’s Civitas Institute shows Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (D) trailing GOP candidate, and former Charlotte mayor,  Pat McCrory (R) by only 2 percent.  Libertarian Barbara Howe — according to the poll — is drawing seven percent of the general election vote:

[…] McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor, leads with 46 percent over Dalton, the lieutenant governor with 44 percent, with Howe at 7 percent, according to a poll conducted for the Civitas Institute, a Raleigh-based conservative advocacy group.

That is a much tighter than a May Civitas Poll that was was a head-to-head match, which showed McCrory with a 10-point lead over Dalton. The May poll did not include Howe.

The spin: “Although the polls differ somewhat in format, the data suggests that a significant portion of McCrory’s support shifted to Howe when given the chance,” said Francis De Luca, Civitas president. “To win those votes in November, McCrory likely will have to persuade libertarian-minded voters that he too wants to and can rein in out-of-control government.”
The survey of 600 N.C. registered voters was conducted by National Research Inc. of Holmdel, NJ and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

I have viewed some Civitas polling with skepticism.  The Raleigh political establishment is poo-pooing the poll, suggesting that it is just ridiculous to suggest that the Libertarian candidate will draw seven percent of the vote.
I don’t know about that.  There is A LOT of anger out there aimed at the Inside-the-Beltline crowd.   The folks DownEast are fit-to-be-tied over Raleigh establishment meddling in local elections.   Incumbent Republican members of Congress have been thumbing their noses at The Tea Party and wading into GOP primaries.  (Remember the heavy-handed, in your face tactics at the state GOP convention?)
The GOP majority in the General Assembly has done little to try and keep their 2010  promises of spending reductions.
Plenty of this site’s readers have communicated their frustration — publicly and privately — with the Republican establishment in Raleigh and DC.  The establishment has shoved two whitebread moderate candidates for governor and president on us, saying the grassroots needs to get in line for the sake of unity — then goes all out to rip Tea Party candidates in primaries.
The Libertarian Party provides a GREAT protest opportunity for disenchanted conservatives.  Casting a vote for a libertarian means you are voting for someone who seriously wants to cut the size of government.  They likely will not win.  But you know you are voting for someone who is likely not lying to you.  
The establishment needs to understand this:  the grassroots cares MORE about saving the country and reducing government than in electing someone with an R next to their name.   A big government, tax increaser with an R next to his or her name is just as bad (some may say worse) than a big government tax increaser with a D next to his or her name.  It’s all about truth in advertising.  With a D, you know for sure what you are getting.
The McCrory campaign is doing NOTHING to fire up the conservative base.  It was stone cold silent about the ObamaCare ruling.  Team Pat can keep flying below radar, moving from this country-club gathering of RINOs to the next one.  But that — as this poll indicates — could lead to a nasty, frustrating surprise in November.
The Raleigh establishment has A LOT of work to do among the grassroots.