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Shuler to Begin Airing First TV Ads Tuesday

As Republicans continue to hold out hope that North Carolina’s 11th district will develop into a sleeper race this fall, Rep. Heath Shuler (D) is set to go up with his first major ad buy of the election on Tuesday.

The district-wide cable and broadcast buy is estimated to be in the high five figures, according to a Democratic source, which goes a long way in the relatively cheap Asheville media market. Now that Shuler is going up on the air, the source said, he’s expected to stay up through Election Day.

Shuler certainly has the money to fund it. He had more than $1.4 million in his campaign account as of his latest Federal Election Commission report. Meanwhile, Republican Jeff Miller has yet to prove himself a strong fundraiser. Although he won the primary in May, Miller had less than $70,000 on hand at the end of June, which may be one reason the National Republican Congressional Committee has yet to commit to spending money on ads in the district this fall.

A newly released internal poll conducted for the Congressman’s campaign showed the incumbent with a strong 17-point lead over Miller.

The poll, which was in the field July 8-13, showed Shuler just above the 50 percent mark with 51 percent. Miller took 34 percent and 15 percent were undecided. The live telephone survey of 500 likely voters was conducted by the Democratic firm Anzalone Liszt Research and had a 4.4-point margin of error.

Those results are very different from an automated poll conducted in late July by the conservative-leaning think tank John William Pope Civitas Institute. That poll showed Shuler barely ahead, 45 percent to 44 percent. The Civitas poll, which surveyed 400 registered voters, showed Shuler with an upside-down favorability rating while the Anzalone Liszt poll pegged Shuler’s rating at 62 percent favorable to 32 percent unfavorable.

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