This N.C. Senate poll should sound another alarm for the GOP. No one will confuse Liddy Dole with a great or effective political operator, and it’s rather fitting that the one responsible for leading Republican Senate electoral efforts in ’06 is now in danger of losing her seat, but the chance that the Republicans could lose a seat in what should be, by all accounts, a Republican-leaning state strikes me as more significant than the odd House special election. No one has been expecting the Democrats to have a shot at North Carolina, and now it seems they may have one. It is possible that the activism and mobilisation connected with the primary last week has helped to weaken North Carolinian Republican office-holders in the eyes of the public, so this could be temporary, but more likely it means that Republican incumbents are facing a much more hostile environment everywhere than I would have assumed. Even if Dole holds on to win, this means another diversion of resources away from the open seats that the NRSC already has to defend, which makes it that much less likely that the GOP can hold any of them. The filibuster-proof majority is not such a far-fetched goal for the Democrats at this point.
P.S. Meanwhile, in some good news for House Republicans in North Carolina that most of you will already know about, Walter Jones won his primary last Tuesday, which gives the GOP a much better chance of resisting Democratic efforts to add any more seats to what is very likely to be a huge number of pick-ups.