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Add North Carolina's Dole to List of Vulnerable Incumbents

In North Carolina, Democratic challenger Kay Hagan has taken a six-point lead over Republican United States Senator Elizabeth Dole.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Tar Heel State finds Hagan with 51% of the vote and Dole with 45%.

That's quite a change from July when the incumbent held a double digit lead. Hagan had held the lead once before, having pulled ahead in May, but that was little more than a bounce following her primary victory. After that, a television ad campaign by Dole quickly opened a double-digit lead.

Dole was elected to the Senate in 2002 to become the first female Senator in North Carolina's history. She currently serves on three Senate committees, including the Committee on Armed Services. Attorney Hagan is currently serving her fifth term in the state's Senate.

The incumbent is backed by just 78% of Republicans, down 10 percentage points since the July poll. and 26% of Democrats in North Carolina. Hagan is supported by 82% of Democrats, up 11 points. Among unaffiliated voters, Hagan now has a 12-point edge. In July, Dole had a solid lead among the unaffiliated voters (full demographic crosstabs available for Premium Members).

Dole is viewed favorably by 50% of the voters in her state, down 11 points since July. Hagan is also viewed favorably by 50%.

Rasmussen Markets data gives Dole a % chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join, so add your voice to the collective wisdom.

Dole's numbers in North Carolina are bad news for a party that had seemed to be making progress in recent week. Many Republican Senate seats are potentially in play for Democrats including seats in Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota and Virginia.

The only Democratic incumbent polling below 50% is New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg.

North Carolina Governor Mike Easely earns good or excellent ratings from 31% of voters, while 24% say he is doing a poor job.

The state's presidential race is much closer than Republicans would like in the historically red state.

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North Carolina Toss-Up

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Dole (R)

46%

45%

54%

Hagan (D)

52%

50%

45%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on September 18, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


North Carolina Trends: Dole vs. Hagan

Date

Dole

Hagan

10/29/2008

46%

52%

10/08/2008

44%

49%

09/23/2008

45%

48%

09/18/2008

45%

51%

07/17/2008

53%

41%

06/10/2008

53%

39%

05/08/2008

47%

48%

04/10/2008

52%

39%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in North Carolina

 

Dole

Hagan

Very Favorable

23%

27%

Somewhat Favorable

23%

26%

Somewhat Unfavorable

19%

19%

Very Unfavorable

31%

23%

Not Sure

3%

5%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.