If Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., does decide to primary Rep. David Price, D-N.C., next year, he'll start off at a significant disadvantage, according to a poll conducted for Price's campaign.
Obtained by Hotline On Call from a Democratic source, the polling memo from Democratic firm Garin-Hart-Yang shows Price would take 46 percent of the vote to Miller's 25 percent, with 29 percent of those surveyed still undecided. Of the roughly three-fifths of voters who said they were familiar with both Democratic incumbents, Price's lead grows to 50 percent, while Miller registers 28 percent support.
"Price's early advantage is not just the product of higher name recognition," the polling memo concludes.
The dean of the state's Democratic delegation, Price's voters are also more committed to him, according to the poll. Seventy-two percent of Price's voters say they strongly support him, but just 42 percent of Miller's voters feel that way. Price's personal favorability rating is also nearly nine-to-one positive, and three in five voters rated his performance as excellent or good.
Miller hasn't yet declared where he'll run in 2012, but the five-term Democrat is looking like he is moving toward challenging Price in the 4th District after Tar Heel State Republicans chopped up his 13th District, making it virtually unwinnable for a Democrat. Miller's home is barely inside the 4th District. But lately, he's been lining up support in his hometown of Fayetteville, now within the 4th District.
The survey tested 404 likely Democratic primary voters from the new 4th congressional district between Oct. 17 and 19, and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.