Sen. Kay Hagan is up for election in 2014, and is expected to face stiff opposition from a Republican opponent AND the national Republican Party which wants BOTH North Carolina senators to represent the Grand Old Party.
And that could happen. But it will take some work.
Both of the best known prospective candidates, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, have their own challenges.
Meanwhile, Hagan’s approval ratings have remained basically steady all year at 38 percent, the same as her Republican counterpart’s, Richard Burr (37 percent). In Hagan’s case, 35 percent of respondents disapprove of her representation of the state’s interest and 26 percent don’t know or have no opinion.
The growing field could give Republicans headaches by forcing the mostly unknown candidates to spend money early instead of saving it for Hagan, whose seat is viewed as a tipping point for GOP Senate control. The party needs to pick up a net of six seats to win the majority.
Digging into the numbers:
Political party: Not surprisingly, 56 percent of Democrats approve of her performance vs. 36 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. The numbers aren’t dissimilar to our results in April.
Gender: 40 percent of females approve vs. 35 percent of males.
Race: 50 percent of blacks approve vs. 34 percent of whites.
Hagan has been a loyal supporter of the Obama administration, but it will be interesting to watch how closely Hagan aligns herself with Obama over the next 13 months. His lagging poll numbers don’t do her any favors.
— John Robinson