Thanks to Carolina Forward for this bombshell:
When state-level Republicans want national, DC-based GOP organizations to pay for key campaign activities like polling, there are certain campaign finance legal hoops they must jump through. Those organizations can conduct the polling, but they must post it somewhere “public” for the North Carolina GOP to “find” it. Usually, this is by posting it somewhere obscure.
Well - this time, we found that polling. And it tells a very different story than you’ve probably heard in the media. Republican polling shows that several Carolina Forward Slate candidates - and many beyond it - are running in a dead heat, or narrowly ahead, of their Republican opponents:
Rep. Howard Hunter (NC House District 5): +7%
Amy DeLoach (NC House District 20): -0.9%
Christy Clark (NC House District 98): -1.7%
Sen. Sydney Batch (NC Senate District 17): +3%
… And beyond the Carolina Forward Slate:
Frank McNeil (NC Senate District 21): -0.7%. GOP incumbent: Sen. Tom McInnis
Christine Kelly (NC House District 37): +1.2%. GOP incumbent: Rep. Erin Paré
Rep. James Gailliard (NC House District 25): +0.3%
Again: this is Republican-sponsored polling, intended for internal use by their legislative caucus and partners.
So, what does this all mean? Here are our takeaways:
At a bare minimum: there’s just no evidence - in 15 separate polls all across the state - for any sort of “red wave” building for the 2022 election
In previous cycles, polling in June/July was strongly indicative of November results
Cheri Beasley is running tied, or slightly ahead, of Ted Budd in all of the closest districts