CHAPEL HILL – N.C. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis is continuing to have difficulty breaking away from the pack of Republican U.S. Senate primary opponents, according a new poll.
Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling said that 20 percent of voters polled supported Tillis. He is closely followed by Greg Brannon and Heather Grant at 13 percent. Tillis has only slightly increased his support from a month ago when he was at 19 percent.
“I think it will continue to look pretty similar until the candidates start spending money on things that reach a large number of voters,” Jensen said. “That would be things like TV ads and direct mail. That is what is really going to create separation among the candidates and show who will be relevant or who will not be based on their ability to raise money and spend it well.”
The general election picture in the Senate race remains the same, Jensen explained, with Kay Hagan trailing most of her potential opponents by small margins.
Forty-one percent of voters approve of Hagan compared to 50 percent who disapprove of her.
“This is where her numbers have been four months in a row now ever since the Republicans started running attack ads against her early on,” he said.
Jensen said her approval numbers have become intertwined with ObamaCare.
Thirty-eight percent of North Carolinians approve of Obamacare compared to 51 percent who disapprove.
“Even more important for Hagan is that third party groups are starting to spend money to support her. Over the last three or four months, it has been pretty much nothing but attacking Hagan. Now her allies are sort of coming to the rescue, and it will be interesting to see if that helps.”
Jensen predicts that the media coverage of her involvement with ObamaCare will taper off in the coming months, and Hagan’s numbers will likely rebound.