PPP: Hagan, Tillis a Toss-up, With Third-Party Spoiler

By Danny Hooley Posted May 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

A new poll conducted by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling finds that, overall, voters aren’t too happy with either of North Carolina’s candidates for U.S. Senate.

As a result, a surprising number of voters are leaning Libertarian.

Here’s Director of Public Policy Polling Tom Jensen:

“Our first general-election poll finds Kay Hagan leading Thom Tillis 38-to-36,” says Jensen. “And the Libertarian candidate, Sean Haugh, is getting 11 percent. And that’s a pretty unusually high level of support for a third-party candidate.”

Jensen points out that Hagan, the Democratic incumbent, has a 38 percent approval rating, while 49 percent of voters disapprove. According to Jensen, that’s been fairly consistent for the past six months.

“And Tillis doesn’t do any better,” says Jensen. “Thirty percent of voters see him favorably; 46 percent, unfavorably.”

Jensen says the presence of a Libertarian candidate is hurting Tillis more than Hagan. He attributes some of that to disgruntled Republican primary voters who supported Tillis’s top opponent, Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon, who was viewed by some as the more conservative candidate.

But Jensen doesn’t expect a lot of that type of support for Haugh to last for long.

“I think it’s unlikely that he’ll get anymore support than this,” says Jensen. “The most likely scenario is that his support will decline between now and the election.”

Jensen says that after hard feelings from the primary begin to subside, much of that support will swing toward Tillis.

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