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North Carolina Senate: Hagan (D) 48% Dole (R) 47%

Democrat Kay Hagan, a state senator from Greensboro, easily won the Democratic Primary last Tuesday night and starts the general election campaign essentially tied with incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in North Carolina Hagan attracting 48% of the vote statewide while Dole earns support from 47%. A month ago, Dole led Hagan by thirteen percentage points.

Hagan currently leads by three points among women while Dole wins by three among men. Hagan leads among voters under 50 while Dole leads among older voters.

Both candidates are popular with the state voters—at least before the campaign season gets under way. Fifty-six percent (56%) have a favorable opinion of Dole while 53% offer positive reviews of Hagan.

Dole is supported by 85% of Republicans, Hagan by 80% of Democrats, and Dole leads by nine points among unaffiliated voters. The incumbent is hurt by the declining value of the Republican party label. Nationally, the number of people who consider themselves to be Democrats has risen to record highs in recent months. The partisan gap (the number of Democrats minus the number of Republicans) has grown to a full ten percentage points in the early phase of Election 2008.

Hagan apparently intends to take full advantage of this partisan reality. She recently reminded Tar Heel voters that " Elizabeth Dole votes with President Bush 92 percent of the time…. you are not representing the interests if you are voting straight-party like that with Bush all the time. That is not what North Carolinians want."

Any incumbent who polls below 50% early in the campaign cycle is considered potentially vulnerable. Dole is far from the only Republican incumbent in that position this year. In addition to North Carolina, Democrats have at least a chance of picking up Republican seats in Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon,Alaska, Minnesota, Kentucky and Texas.

The Presidential race in North Carolina is also much closer than Republicans would like.

Rasmussen Markets data shows that Dole is given a % of keeping her job after November.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Fox Television Stations, Inc.

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North Carolina Toss-Up

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Dole (R)




Hagan (D)




This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on May 8, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.

Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in North Carolina




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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.