Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan has regained the largest lead for U.S. Senate re-election since September, according to a statewide telephone poll conducted by Public Policy Polling over the weekend.
Hagan leads Republican challenger Thom Tillis 39 to 34, with Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh receiving 11 percent.
Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen attributes Hagan’s recent jump in the polls to the General Assembly being in session. With only 18 percent of voting North Carolinians showing support to the Republican campaign and their recent budget reform, House Speaker Tillis’ numbers are beginning to dwindle.
Issues at the forefront of the legislature, including the Senate’s proposal to cut teacher assistants to increase teacher pay and the recent bill passed to permit fracking, are all disapproved by the majority of voters.
“Whenever Thom Tillis is in the news as one of the leaders of the legislature, that drives down his poll numbers,” Jensen told WCHL. “We find that right now only 23 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 45 percent see him unfavorably.”
While Hagan has regained the lead, she still faces problems with a 42 percent favorability approval rating to 46 percent disapproval. Jensen says a 53 percent state-wide disapproval of President Obama and ObamaCare may pull Hagan further back at the end of the summer and the legislative session.
“We have found that some of the national issues that have gone on have proven to be difficult for Kay Hagan,” Jensen said. “One thing that has been particularly problematic for her over the last six months is ObamaCare, because that remains unpopular in the state and of course she is someone that supported that law and voted for it. Tillis is having difficulty answering for things that are going on at the state level, while Hagan is having trouble answering for some of the unpopular things that have gone on at the national level.”
The race for North Carolina Senate still continues to remain close as it has done so in the past year with fluctuating poll leads for both Hagan and Tillis.
For more updated polls on key political races, visit http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/