Sen. Burr under 50 percent in new poll

Polls in North Carolina's Senate race continue to show Democrat Elaine Marshall has the potential to give Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) a real run for his money this fall. 

The latest Rasmussen numbers on the race give Burr a 9-point lead over Marshall — 49 percent to 40 percent. Three percent of respondents preferred another candidate and 8 percent are still undecided.

Burr has consistently led in public polls on the race, but his reelect number has hovered at or below 50 percent. 

The poll surveyed 500 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points.

A Rasmussen survey from last month had Burr up double digits. Given the latest numbers, Rasmussen shifted its ranking of the race Friday, from "solid GOP" to "leans GOP." 

Numbers from Public Policy Polling earlier this week showed Marshall within two points of Burr, who had 39 percent of the vote to Marshall's 37 percent.

Internal numbers released by the Marshall's campaign last month showed a similar picture with the Democrat leading Burr 37 percent to 35 percent. 

If Republicans are trying to paint Marshall as too liberal for North Carolina's electorate, the latest Rasmussen numbers suggest they still have some work to do. Just 37 percent of likely voters described Marshall as liberal, while 30 percent pegged her as a moderate.