Charlotte's mayoral race as a national test case
1:00 pm
Tue August 18, 2009

Charlotte's mayoral race as a national test case

Charlotte has had a Republican mayor for the last 22 years, but Democrats made big gains last November. President Obama easily won the city. Perhaps more significantly, seven-term Republican Mayor Pat McCrory lost Mecklenburg County in his race for governor.

A Raleigh polling firm says Charlotte's mayoral election is a good test case to see if Democrats can turn the enthusiasm over the presidential election into success in local races. WFAE's Lisa Miller explains:

Public Policy Polling follows races of national importance. Typically, that means Congressional and gubernatorial elections.

But this year, Charlotte's mayoral election also fits that category.

"This is going to be a really interesting test-run to see if that grassroots movement that Obama sparked can be put to use for causes other than his own," explains Tom Jensen with Public Policy Polling.

Jensen says Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Foxx will need a lot of people who don't usually vote in municipal elections to come out to the polls if he's going to win.

Public Policy Polling released a poll this week that showed Foxx and Republican John Lassiter in a dead heat. The firm leans Democratic, but has gained a reputation for reliable non-partisan polling.

Jensen says the company plans to release three more polls on Charlotte's mayoral race before the general election in November.

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