Perdue most vulnerable governor in country?

Beverly Perdue

February 8, 2011 4:34:35 AM PST
Governor Beverly Perdue's approval ratings are dismal. Just about every poll so far shows her losing to a Republican challenger.

Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza even rates her "the most vulnerable governor in the country."

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But if Perdue is worried, she doesn't look it. She brushed off questions about polls and politics with reporters Monday - saying they don't amount to much.

Others aren't so sure.

"Clearly, the governor's vulnerable as she heads into the election cycle," offered Democratic consultant Brad Crone.

Crone's been saying that for a while, but the Post column puts a finer point on it - pegging North Carolina has the most likely state in the Union to see a party swap in the governor's mansion in 2012.

Put that with Charlotte's selection for the Democratic National Convention next year and it looks like we will have a race on our hands.

"The governor's race in North Carolina will be the top governor's race in the nation next year," Crone predicted.

Perdue has had her share of trouble: criminal investigations surrounding her campaign committee, a hefty fine levied by the board of elections, the toughest economy in decades, and budgets that have so far seen only cuts with promises of more of the same.

"In all the polls, public polls, Republican, Democrat polls, the governor's numbers have flat lined from 2009 to 2011. That's the biggest problem she has. On a good day, the highest she can go is probably 33 - 34 percent," said Crone.

Perdue is not running scared.

"I've gotten a long way because the people in North Carolina trust me and at the end of the day, elect me over and over and over. And I don't intend to lose a race," she said Monday.

Like Crone, Perdue sees the economy as the reason she's down in the polls.

"I believe as the economy continues to improve, people in North Carolina will feel more hopeful about their lives," she said.

And, in 2008, hope turned out to be a powerful political player. And Perdue is hoping it will be once again - especially now that President Obama has put a stake down in the Tar Heel state.

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