Local Politics

Rhetoric heats up in tight Senate race

Posted October 17, 2008

— With less than three weeks left until Election Day, Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Democratic challenger Kay Hagan are slugging it out in advertisements and media interviews.

The two candidates haven't appeared together since a June debate at the North Carolina Bar Association's annual meeting. Since then, the race has tightened significantly.

Four months ago, Dole held a double-digit lead in the polls. In a WRAL News poll done in June, for example, she led Hagan by a 53 to 39 percent margin. In a similar poll done last week, Hagan held a 49 to 44 percent lead.

Dole attributes the loss of her lead to a blizzard of negative ads, many of which link her to President George W. Bush, whose approval ratings are at historic lows.

"(When you have) $10 million coming in against me in negative, ugly, nasty, untruthful ads, that's going to have some effect," Dole said.

Hagan countered that her campaign has focused on her record in the state Senate, which she says in more in tune with the priorities of North Carolina voters.

"I'm running a very positive campaign. I'm getting out all over the state, (and) what I'm doing is I'm showing a contrast," she said. "In 2005, (Dole) was only in North Carolina 20 days, and in 2006, only 13 days."

Dole calls Hagan's numbers "absolutely inaccurate," adding that she knows North Carolina through and through as a Salisbury native.

"I travel on my own constantly. In other words, I should not be punished for not charging the taxpayers for my travel," she said.

Meanwhile, Dole questions whether Hagan is qualified to be a U.S. senator, saying she doesn't understand federal issues. Her campaign's latest ads criticize Hagan for dodging issues in interviews and speeches.

"I think Kay has dodged a lot of answers that would help people better understand what she knows," she said.

"I've served for 10 years in the state Senate. I understand legislation," Hagan said. "People can come to me with their issues. I've also got numerous plans on my Web page, whether it's the economy, health care, veterans, minorities (or) women."


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  • snowcat92 Oct 22, 2008

    My intelligence is so insulted by the attack ads against each other that I don't want to vote for either one of them. There is so much "spin" in politics that it is hard to trust any politician.

  • rayzer Oct 17, 2008

    Hagan has done nothing but increase taxes and increase debt. She is being propped up by the national Demo machine. OK. You want to go from the frying pan to the fire - Hagan's your girl.

  • zProt Oct 17, 2008

    Yes, just WHAT has she done?

  • scientistjo Oct 17, 2008

    Dole has done NOTHING FOR US!!! Kick her out!

  • onyourheels2 Oct 17, 2008

    caeyla-you must have just a phone, no tv at your home.

  • caeyla Oct 17, 2008

    I am voting for Hagan because her beliefs and stances on issues are more inline with mine, whereas Dole's are almost completely opposite from mine.

    I have also gotten 3 very negative, nasty robo-calls from Dole's side trashing Kay Hagan, and if I were undecided, there's no way I would vote for a candidate that supports that type of "campaigning." I honestly don't see how anyone could support a candidate that resorts to such negative tactics.

  • onyourheels2 Oct 17, 2008

    yellowhat- at least she's going to finish out her first of many terms.

  • Quagmire Oct 17, 2008

    who is this "Dole" you people speak of? Has anyone seen her in NC?

  • yellow_hat Oct 17, 2008

    What has done for NC? She does not even live here. She essentially votes with the party every time. I guess if you like "W" and the way things are going now, then you like Dole. She is a nice old lady that needs to move home to Kansas and enjoy her retirement.

  • tgw Oct 17, 2008

    Tax and spend Kay-or Mrs. Dole-a lady with some class. Vote too many Dems into Washington and you may as well just start sending them all of your check. Oh, and they will do away with the opposition. The fairness doctrine will kill talk radio-because nobody listens to hateful liberal talk radio.

    Like I said-tax and spend Kay-or Mrs. Dole-conservtive for NC!!
    Mrs.Dole gets my vote.