A new poll from the conservative Civitas Institute gives a snapshot of the political ramifications of U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge’s roughhousing ways.
The survey of 400 registered North Carolina voters in Etheridge’s district found his Republican opponent, Renee Ellmers, leading 39 percent to 38 percent. Those are remarkable numbers given the dynamics of the district. Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one in voter registration, and Etheridge won re-election in 2008 by a hefty 67 percent.
Since the Etheridge attack video went viral, Ellmers has seen a rush of campaign donations. That, mixed with the positive poll, should give Democratic strategists pause. Will it be enough to put her over the top? It’s doubtful.
The Cook Political Report puts the district in the “Solid Democrat” category, even though its composition leans slightly Republican. To boot, Etheridge is entrenched and well funded, a mainstay of North Carolina’s Democratic power brokers for several decades.
But in a strongly anti-establishment year, anything is possible.