A Closer Look: Bill Faison pins hopes on "undecided" voters

Published: May. 3, 2012 at 12:06 AM EDT|Updated: May. 7, 2012 at 12:06 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Rep. Bill Faison beat all others in filing to run for Governor.

He signed up on February 13, the first day of the filing period. Even before Bev Perdue announced she would not run for re-election, Faison had talked about his jobs plan as a way of boosting North Carolina's economy. With less than a week to go before Election Day, he needs those facts to turn into votes.

Recent polls have put Faison a distant third behind Walter Dalton and Bob Etheridge in the race for the Democratic nomination. Public Policy Polling released data on April 30 that had Faison at percent, behind Dalton's 36% and Etheridge's 26 percent. But, it's the 25 percent who call themselves "undecided" that Faison believes will make a difference May 8.

"I know from some of the polling work that's been done, that when you ask the undecided voter 'who would you be leaning for?' or 'who are you considering?', and they are given a chance to volunteer a name, it's my name that is coming up in the overwhelming number of responses," Faison told WECT's Jon Evans in an interview this week.

The legislator from Orange County also believes he is in better standing with voters than the polls currently show. Faison says people from all areas have sent e-mails and called his campaign saying 'I want you to know, I voted for you'.  "We really do believe that among those undecided voters are a huge amount of voters who are going to vote for Bill Faison," he said.

Faison says he had a tough time raising campaign funds in the first quarter of 2012. Financial reports due to the NC Board of Elections show $11,540 in individual contributions for Faison's campaign, well behind Dalton and Etheridge.

Faison has resisted putting more of his own money into the effort, to buy political ads like the other front-runners. He says he would rather succeed on his message, put out to voters through a series of forums sponsored by TV stations and other groups across North Carolina.

"It looks to me like if I do that, then I'm trying to buy the election. I don't want it that way," Faison said. "I think when look at them (the series of debates) the conclusion will be that of the three candidates running, the person who can best speak to the issues, most clearly explain and talk about the issues, and who can best represent the Democrats in the upcoming election, is me."

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