The latest Republican-leaning Rasmussen poll showed Pat McCrory's lead over Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is now just five points.
Dalton's campaign is pleased by the poll numbers. However, is it a blip on the radar or something bigger?
McCrory didn't wait to find out. His camp launched a 60-second long television ad Tuesday morning. It's airing in every corner of the state. It marks the campaign's first statewide ad buy.
It has the sound of an appeal to independent voters as the former Charlotte mayor aims to steal away moderate voters who supported President Obama and Gov. Bev Perdue in 2008.
McCrory's ad comes after the surprising poll numbers were released from Rasmussen. It shows:
- Dalton trails McCrory by just five points. McCrory's lead was 14 points back in June.
- The poll shows McCrory winning independents by 30 points.
- McCrory has an eight point edge with men, but his lead with female voters is just 3 points.
McCrory was unavailable to comment Tuesday, but Dalton told ABC11 that he's cautiously optimistic.
"I think it is a momentum shift," said Dalton. "As I said all along, I don't pay a lot of attention to polls. The only poll that counts is in the fall on Election Day."
Meanwhile, the softer side of the governor's race played out on twitter today.
Dalton tweeted a happy 41st anniversary message to his wife, Lucille. McCrory then tweeted congratulations and happy anniversary. Dalton responded "thank-you so much" to McCrory.
It was a touch of friendliness amid the tension of a tightening race for governor.