Incumbent Democrat Elaine Marshall and Republican challenger Ed Goodwin, North Carolina Secretary of State candidates in the Nov. 6 General Election, will be featured in a candidate forum on Thursday.

The forum is being presented by The NC Center for Voter Education and League of Women Voters of NC at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 1313 Wade Ave. It is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the forum starts at 7.

Those who are unable to attend the event but have a question for the candidates may submit it online ahead of time by e-mailing it to [email protected] or alerting the NC Center for Voter Education through Facebook.

Goodwin, chairman of the Chowan County Board of Commissioners, is waging an uphill battle against Marshall, the first woman ever elected to statewide, executive branch office, in 1996. The most recent voter survey by Public Policy Polling shows Marshall leading by 43 percent to Goodwin’s 37 percent, though 19 percent of voters remain undecided.

“Former Democratic Senate candidate Elaine Marshall is on pace to make a comeback after her decisive defeat at the hands of (Republican U.S. Sen.) Richard Burr two years ago,” a summary accompanying the poll said.

Marshall holds overwhelming support among very liberal voters (86 percent to 6 percent), somewhat liberal (79-6) and moderate (49-22). Goodwin maintains commanding leads among very conservative voters (77-7) and those who identify as somewhat conservative (62-19).

Women voters prefer Marshall (52-31) while men are more likely to vote for Goodwin (45-33). Goodwin has made more inroads among Democrat voters than Marshall has with Republicans. Marshall leads among Democrats (77-10) while Goodwin leads among Republicans (76-5). They are in a dead heat among independent voters (32-32).

Marshall is outpolling Goodwin by a colossal margin among African-American voters (74-9), while Goodwin is favored more narrowly among white voters (45-35). Marshall also has greater support among “other” races (51-32).

Younger voters are more likely to vote for Marshall, with Goodwin having the advantage among older voters. Marshall is favored among those 18-29 (54-22) and 30-45 (44-33), while Goodwin polls more strongly among those 46-65 (43-42) and older than 65 (42-37).

Marshall is the dominant favorite among voters in the 919 Triangle telephone area code (53-34). She also leads among voters in the 910 area code (45-35) and 252 area code (45-37). Goodwin leads among voters in the 704 (45-41) and 828 (36-31) area codes. They are tied in the 336 area code (38-38).

The poll, taken Aug 2-5, surveyed 813 likely North Carolina voters. Marshall’s lead is outside the margin of error, which was 3.4 percent.