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Election 2014: North Carolina Senate

North Carolina Senate: Tillis (R) 45%, Hagan (D) 44%

Friday, May 09, 2014

The North Carolina Senate race is now almost dead even.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters finds that State House Speaker Thom Tillis, the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary, earns 45% support to incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagan’s 44%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.(To see survey question wording, click here.)

Tillis held a 47% to 40% lead over Hagan in late January in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the Tar Heel State’s U.S. Senate contest. 

Hagan was elected to her first term in the Senate in 2008 with 53% of the vote. She now has the support of 76% of the state’s Democrats, while 84% of North Carolina Republicans back Tillis. The two run almost even among voters not affiliated with either major party.

The race at this point turns on Hagan’s support of the new national health care law, and she is widely regarded as one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in this election cycle because of that law.

Forty-three percent (43%) of North Carolina voters have a favorable opinion of Obamacare, while 54% regard it unfavorably. This includes 19% with a Very Favorable view of the law and 42% with a Very Unfavorable one. This is almost identical to views nationally and finds voters in the state with a slightly more favorable attitude toward the law than they had in January.

Ninety-five percent (95%) of voters with a Very Favorable opinion of the health care law favor Hagan. Eighty-six percent (86%) of those in the much larger group with a Very Unfavorable opinion of the law prefer Tillis.

Just 35% of all voters in the state think it’s likely the problems with the health care law will be fixed within the next year, while 61% consider that unlikely. This includes 15% who say it’s Very Likely the law will be fully fixed by then and 36% who feel it’s Not At All Likely. This is nearly identical to voter attitudes nationwide

Sixteen percent (16%) say they have been helped by the health care law, while 35% say they have been hurt by it. Forty-two percent (42%) say Obamacare has had no impact on them. This, too, is comparable to findings nationally

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The survey of 750 Likely Voters in North Carolina was conducted on May 7-8, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats are at stake this November. Twenty-one of them are held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans. Democrats have a 53-to-45 majority over Republicans in the Senate. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.

Hagan is viewed Very Favorably by 20% of North Carolina voters and Very Unfavorably by 31%. For Tillis, Very Favorables are 18% and Very Unfavorables 22%. Both candidates are well-known in the state, but Hagan has slightly higher name recognition.

At this early point in the race, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Eighteen percent (18%) of voters in the state describe the economy as good or excellent, while 39% think it is in poor shape. But 37% believe their own finances are good or excellent, compared to 19% who feel their personal finances are poor. That’s a more positive assessment on both questions than voters had at the beginning of the year.

Just 12% of North Carolina voters think the federal government is too aggressive in deporting those who are in this country illegally. Fifty percent (50%) say the government is not aggressive enough, while 23% consider the current level of deportation about right. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. This is in line with voter attitudes nationally.

Hagan picks up 76% support from voters who think the government’s deportation policy for illegal immigrants is too aggressive and 71% of the vote from those who rate the number of deportations as about right. Seventy-two percent (72%) of those who don’t think the government is aggressive enough favor Tillis.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney carried North Carolina over President Obama in the 2012 election by a 50% to 48% margin. But 51% of the state’s voters now approve of the job the president is doing, while 48% disapprove. This includes 31% who Strongly Approve and 42% who Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a slightly better job approval rating in North Carolina than he earns nationally.

Forty-eight percent (48%) approve of Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s job performance, while 44% disapprove. This includes 17% who Strongly Approve and 26% who Strongly Disapprove.

See our most recent numbers from the Senate races in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,  Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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