Tomorrow at the Polls

Just a reminder: Tomorrow’s election activity centers on three states, Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

In the Hoosier State, there is scattered talk of Sen. Richard Lugar pulling off some kind of audacious upset over Richard Mourdock to save his job, but the polls show no such signs, and all in all, it looks like the state’s hard-core conservatives learned from their narrow defeat by Dan Coates in 2010 to combine their resources behind a single candidate. Lugar’s only chance would be a significant crossover vote from Democrats, and if that’s about to happen, it’s a very quiet campaign.

In Wisconsin, Tom Barrett and Kathleen Falk battle for the Democratic nomination to succeed Scott Walker if he is recalled on June 5. The only recent published poll, from Marquette, showed Barrett with a comfortable lead despite vocal opposition to his candidacy from public employee unions. Barrett lost to Walker in 2010, but Democrats think the polarized effect of Walker’s policies plus more balanced turnout patterns could give him a decent chance; Barrett/Walker polls are very close.

And in North Carolina, opponents of Amendment One are hoping for a huge turnout of younger voters and the success of last minute “educational” efforts to make voters understand how draconian the measure is. But the polling shows Amendment One likely to pass by a comfortable if not overwhelming margin.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton looks to be pulling away from former Congressman Bobby Ethridge. Dalton does need to top 40% to avoid a runoff, but probably will. On the Republican side, former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory is expected to win the gubernatorial primary easily.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.