Despite the bumbling rollout of the healthcare initiative, the federal government shutdown and being targeted by the National GOP for defeat in 2014, Sen. Kay Hagan’s approval numbers among North Carolinians aren’t as bad as you might think.
In the latest Elon University Poll, 37% of registered voters polled in North Carolina said they approved of how she is doing her job vs. 43.5% who said they disapproved. That a drop of 1 percentage point from her approval rating in September.
The bad news is that the percentage of N.C. registered voters who said they disapproved of her went up 8.5 percentage points since September.
Digging into the numbers:
Politics — Not surprisingly, 63% of Democrats support her vs. 32% of Independents and 13% of Republicans. Since September, her support among Democrats has increased and decreased among Republicans. Then, it was 56% of Democrats, 36% of Independents, and 23% of Republicans.
Gender — Again, not surprisingly, 40% of women say they approve of how she’s doing her job vs. 34% of men. That’s essentially unchanged from two months ago.
Race — 53% of African Americans approve vs 31% of whites. Since September, support has increased slightly among blacks and decreased slightly among whites.
Age — The 18-30 year-old age group rates her the highest, at 45%; the 41-50 age group rates her the lowest, at 30%.
Explanation: As a Democrat who supports President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, Hagan’s approval ratings are slipping along with Obama’s and many Democrats in Congress. Her GOP opponents are and will continue to tie her to Obama, which isn’t a bad strategy right now. She is also a member of a once-august body — Congress — that the public doesn’t hold in high esteem.
But in one way, the strategy is moot. Until she has an opponent, the horse race numbers don’t matter.
By the way, Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican NOT up for re-election in 2014, shouldn’t take much for granted.
— John Robinson