Sen. Hagan’s support slips

Sen. Kay Hagan, facing what is expected to be a tough re-election battle this fall, is also facing slipping job approval numbers. In the latest Elon Poll, only 33% of registered voters said they approved of how she is handling her job; 47% disapproved.

In November, 37% said they approved of her.

Worse for Hagan: she is losing support among key constituencies — Democrats and women.

Digging into the numbers;

Politics: She has the approval of 55% of Democrats, 30% of Independents and 12% of Republicans. In November, the breakout was 63% of Democrats, 32% of Independents and 13% of Republicans.

Gender: Statistically equal. 34% of men and 33% of women approve of her work. In November, 40% of women had her back. (Male support is unchanged.) That is likely a serious concern in the Hagan camp. It is likely she can win back the support of Democrats once the Republican nominee is chosen. Women, however, should be a strong base of support and she cannot allow that to erode.

Race: 57% of African Americans approve of her compared with 26% of whites. In November, it was 53% and 31%.

Age: Her greatest support is in the 18-30 age group at 40%. Her least support (27%) is in the 31-40 age group.

Hagan has been hammered about her support of the Affordable Care Act in statewide television ads since the beginning of the year. Rep. Thom Tillis, the speaker of the N.C. House and a Republican candidate for her Senate seat, has aired his own ads criticizing her.

Her numbers will likely go up after the GOP primary in May. She — and voters — will know who both candidates are and can begin comparing. She also will be able to sharpen her focus in political ads.

For comparison purposes, her approval rating is the same as her GOP counterpart, Sen. Richard Burr. However, only 31% of registered voters said they disapproved of Burr’s performance and 35% said they didn’t know. (Burr is not up for re-election this year.)

— John Robinson

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