Democrats pour money into NC as polls show tight race, Burr with an edge

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Deborah Ross waves to supporters at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Raleigh after winning the North Carolina primary on Tuesday

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is shifting money from Florida and Ohio to focus on N.C. and other key states. The shift comes as a new Elon University poll shows Burr and Ross in a virtual dead heat with Ross getting about 44 percent of voters polled and Burr getting 43 percent, within the margin of error. Libertarian Sean Haugh claimed about four percent and seven percent of respondents said they were undecided.”We may have simply recorded a short-term blip, but we also might have found an emerging trend,” said Jason Husser, director of the Elon Poll. “We suspect Burr’s numbers have potential to shift in coming weeks given a campaign cycle with huge advertising budgets.”Those advertising dollars are about roll in. The DSCC just announced that it plans to spend an additional $4.2 million in N.C. The group is one of the top spenders for Democratic senate candidates and has cancelled television ad buys in Florida and Ohio to invest almost $10 million in ads to help Deborah Ross in N.C. and Evan Bayh in Indiana, among others.In a press release this week Ross said,”The state is on fire with anger at the do-nothing Congress and the hard-right agenda of the state legislature. People are eager to be heard and I’m a good listener.”A former state legislator and the former executive director of the N.C. ACLU, Ross has been criticized for opposing the convicted sex offenders registry. Shehas also struggled with name recognition, something her campaign has tried to combat with a list of appearances across the state and an aggressive media strategy. Meanwhile, a 12-year senior senator with extensive foreign policy experience as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr has support among conservatives and the military communities, but spent much of the campaign season working in D.C.”It’s no surprise that Deborah Ross’ liberal D.C. allies want to distract voters from her dangerous career as a top lobbyist for the ACLU, pumping millions of dollars from the radical left into North Carolina,” said Burr campaign spokesman Jesse Hunt. “No amount of money can rewrite Ross’ record of standing up for convicted criminals instead of the safety of North Carolinians.”The shift of party money also indicates bleak election day prospects for Ohio senate Democratic candidate Ted Murphy, as well as Florida’s Democrat Patrick Murphy, who is trying to unseat former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.The Elon University Poll surveyed 799 registered voters and was conducted by live interviewers through cell phones and landlines from Sept. 12-16, 2016. Responses are from those self-identified registered voters who say they are likely to vote in the Nov. 8 election and has a margin of error of +/- 3.86 percentage points.