Tag Archives: Hagan

Thom Tillis and Phil Berger have challenges

House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger have some work to do if either wants to be the next senator from the great state of North Carolina.

In the Elon University Poll, 67 percent of respondents don’t recognize Tillis’ name, and 64 percent didn’t recognize Berger’s name.

And that’s not even the biggest challenge they face.

Tillis, a Republican from Cornelius, has been in the state legislature since 2006 and has served as Speaker of the House since 2011. Berger, a Republican from Eden, has been a senator since 2000 and has been Senate Majority Leader since 2011. Tillis has declared his candidacy for the Senate seat now held by Kay Hagan, a Democrat. Berger hasn’t. Yet.

The general election is more than a year off so there is time to build name recognition.

The steep hill before them is that both men have high unfavorability ratings.

Of those who said they knew Tillis’ name, only 22 percent rated him favorably and 35 percent unfavorably. For Berger, it was 21 percent favorable and 30 unfavorable.

For comparison, Hagan’s job approval rating is 38 percent, and her disapproval rating is 35 percent. So, she’s clearly vulnerable, which state and national Republicans know.

Digging into the numbers:

Tillis: More Republicans have a favorable impression than Democrats (15 percent vs. 11 percent); more men than women (30 percent vs. 15 percent); and more whites than blacks (23 percent vs. 17 percent.)

Berger: More Republicans have a favorable impression than Democrats (34 percent vs. 12 percent) and more men than women (23 percent vs. 18 percent). In something of a surprise, more blacks than whites (24 percent vs. 20 percent).

Again, it’s early. Both men had many, many people who, even though they recognized the candidates’ names, didn’t have an opinion on them.

All of the “don’t knows” can translate into people who don’t associate either man with the actions of the General Assembly. Given the low ratings of the General Assembly, that’s a good thing.

— John Robinson

Hagan, Burr job approval ratings are flat

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

President Obama’s approval rating sinks in N.C.

President Obama’s job approval ratings continue to sink in North Carolina.

In February, 47 percent of respondents approved of his leadership. Now, it’s down to 38 percent. And the biggest shift was among 18-30-year olds. More on that in a moment.

These numbers are similar to numbers reflected in the national polls. The latest Gallup Poll, Obama was at 45 percent, and that’s toward the high end.

While it’s impossible from our results to pinpoint any one reason, it is worth noting that his position on Syria was opposed by most Americans in a number of polls. (In North Carolina, 47 percent of respondents disapproved of his stance compared with 37 percent who approved.)

Add to that an economy that is still slow to recover nearly five years into his term, and uncertainty about the Affordable Health Care Act. And then there are nagging questions about Benghazi and spying on Americans.

Disapproval of his administration’s actions cast a wide net.

Digging into the numbers:

Age: Obama lost big in the 18-30 group. Only 38 percent of that demographic approve of his performance. Last April, that number was 57 percent. Why? You can point to stagnant employment growth, concerns over Syria and general disillusionment over the nation’s direction.

Political party: 79 percent of Democrats approve of him; 6 percent of Republicans do. Those numbers are nearly identical to our last poll in April.

Race: 83 percent of blacks approve vs. 26 percent of whites. That’s a decline among whites of 7 percentage points from in April.

Gender: 41 percent of women approve of him; 35 percent of men do. The decline has been equal in both genders.

He’s in his second term and can’t run again. His approval rating, though, will impact the 2014 mid-term elections in North Carolina. It’s doubtful that any House seats will flip, but Republicans are focusing on Democrat Kay Hagan’s Senate seat. It will be interesting to see how closely she aligns with the administration as the campaign gets hotter.

— John Robinson