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Hagan Still Leads Dole in North Carolina Senate Showdown

Democrat Kay Hagan continues to hold on to a modest lead over incumbent United States Senator Elizabeth Dole according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll in the Tar Heel State.

The new poll—conducted Wednesday night—finds Hagan with 49% of the vote and Dole with 44%. That’s little changed from a week ago when Hagan was on top 48% to 45%. Libertarian Christopher Cole is currently supported by 2% of North Carolina voters.

Dole’s favorably ratings have fallen just below the 50% mark—49% have a favorable opinion of her while 49% offer an unfavorable view. The comparable numbers for Hagan are 50% favorable and 45% unfavorable.

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Dole led this race for much of the year, but has fallen behind ever since Lehman Brothers collapsed to start the economic crisis on Wall Street. This is the third Rasmussen Reports poll conducted since Lehman crashed and all three show Dole trailing Hagan. Among voters who view the economy as the top issue of Election 2008, Hagan leads by a two-to-one margin.

Hagan now leads by eight points among women while the two candidates are essentially even among men. Dole leads among those over 50 while trailing among those under 40 (see full demographic crosstabs).

Dole’s decline follows a national trend that has hurt Republicans across the country. McCain was slightly ahead of Obama just before the financial debacle began but has fallen behind over the past few weeks in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Adding to Dole’s problems is the fact that John McCain finds himself in a very tight race with Barack Obama for North Carolina’s Electoral College votes. That means Dole can’t count on the lift from the top of the ticket usually enjoyed by the state’s GOP candidates.

Dole is far from the only endangered Republican Senator in Election 2008. Many Republican Senate seats are potentially in play for Democrats including seats in Alaska, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota and Virginia. Democrats also think they have a shot at seats in Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas.

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 Senate.

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.

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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 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 8, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 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.