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Election 2014: North Carolina Senate

North Carolina Senate: Hagan (D) 45%, Tillis (R) 39%

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Is Kay Hagan’s “war on women” strategy beginning to pay off? The embattled incumbent Democrat has now moved ahead of Republican challenger Thom Tillis in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Hagan leading Tillis 45% to 39%. Six percent (6%) like some other candidate in the race, and nine percent (9%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The numbers were reversed a month ago with Tillis ahead 45% to 40%. The two were virtually tied in early May, with Tillis posting a one-point lead. The GOP state House speaker was ahead by seven – 47% to 40% - in our first look at the race in late January

Among voters who say they are certain to vote on Election Day, it’s a much closer race: Hagan 45%, Tillis 43%.

Still, North Carolina now moves from a Toss-Up to Leans Democrat in the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Senate Balance of Power rankings. 

Hagan who was elected to the Senate in 2008 with 53% of the vote has long been considered one of this year’s most vulnerable incumbents, in large part because of her support of Obamacare which remains unpopular in North Carolina. But she has made the so-called “war on women” a centerpiece of her campaign, hammering Tillis for state budget cutbacks in the women’s health area and his opposition to the contraceptive mandate in the health care law.

While Tillis leads by nine points among male voters in the state, Hagan has a 21-point lead among women. Tillis has lost ground among male voters over the past month, while Hagan’s lead among women has grown.

Forty-three percent (43%) of all voters in North Carolina have a favorable opinion of the health care law, while 53% view it unfavorably. This includes 16% with a Very Favorable view and 41% with a Very Unfavorable one. Attitudes in the state remain comparable to those nationally

Forty-two percent (42%) believe Congress and the president should go through the law piece by piece to improve it rather than repeal it entirely. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree and favor completely repealing Obamacare and starting over again. Just 15% think the law should stay as it is. That’s slightly less support for a piece-by-piece approach than is found nationwide.

Hagan has 90% support from voters with a Very Favorable opinion of Obamacare. Tillis gets 79% of the vote in the larger group with a Very Unfavorable view of the law.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters in North Carolina was conducted on September 8-10, 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. Presently, 21 of them are held by Democrats and 15 by Republicans. Democrats currently have a 53-to-45 majority over Republicans in the Senate. In addition, there are two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of North Carolina Republicans support Tillis. Hagan earns 78% of the vote from the state’s Democrats and leads by five points among voters not affiliated with either major party.

Tillis has been highly critical of the Obama adminstration’s handling of veterans issues, and just 29% of North Carolina voters think the administration has done a good or excellent job in this area. Forty-four percent (44%) rate its performance as poor. That’s a more critical assessment than voters nationally expressed earlier this year

More than 80% of those who give the administration positive marks in the veterans area favor Hagan. Tillis picks up 72% support from those who say the administration has done a poor job.

Hagan is viewed favorably by 47% of all voters in the state and unfavorably by 45%. This includes 20% with a Very Favorable opinion of her and 29% with a Very Unfavorable one. For Tillis, favorables are 41% and unfavorables 49%, with 13% who view him Very Favorably and 32% with a Very Unfavorable opinion.

Hagan’s favorables haven’t changed over the past month, but Tillis is more unpopular now.

Twenty percent (20%) of voters in the Tarheel State rate the economy as good or excellent, while 35% say it is poor. Forty percent (40%), however, think their own finances are good or excellent, compared to 16% who describe their personal finances as poor.

President Obama lost North Carolina in the 2012 election by a 50% to 48% margin, and 48% of the state’s voters approve of the job he is doing. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove. This includes 25% who Strongly Approve and 42% who Strongly Disapprove, giving the president a slightly better job approval rating in the state than he earns nationally.

See our most recent numbers from the Senate races in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma (special),Oregon, South Carolina, South Carolina (special), South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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

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