Poll: Senate race pretty much a dead heat

Posted March 11, 2014

Tillis 2014 Senate

— House Speaker Thom Tillis has lost his early lead among Republican U.S. Senate candidates, and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is statistically even with all eight GOP challengers, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 884 registered voters statewide Thursday through Sunday on the Senate race and issues such as the Affordable Care Act and raising the minimum wage. The poll has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Tillis has been the early front-runner in a crowded GOP field seeking to defeat Hagan, but he and Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary, a tea party favorite, are tied at 14 percent among the 334 Republican voters PPP surveyed. Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant is third at 11 percent, and no other candidate had more than 7 percent support.

Thirty-six percent of Republican voters remain undecided, according to the poll, which has a margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points on the preference survey.

PPP, which works mainly for Democratic candidates, attributed Tillis' slide to "his gaffes on the campaign trail," noting that he has, in recent weeks, advocated abolishing the minimum wage and referred to the Affordable Care Act as "a great idea that can't be paid for." Neither statement played well with the GOP base, PPP contends.

Seventy-eight percent of the Republican voters surveyed disagreed with the statement that the health care law is a great idea – PPP truncated his quote in its poll question – compared with 48 percent overall who disapprove of it. Twenty percent of those surveyed, including 27 percent of the Republicans, said they would favor getting rid of the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, Hagan has been unable to separate herself from her challengers. In hypothetical head-to-head match-ups with each of the GOP candidates, Hagan leads Tillis and retired Dr. Edward Kryn by 2 percentage points and Grant by 1 percentage point. She is tied with three other candidates and trails Lexington attorney Jim Snyder by 1 percentage point and former Shelby mayor Ted Alexander by 2 percentage points. All of the results are within the poll's margin of error.

PPP notes that Hagan's head-to-head results are better than in recent polls, but her approval rating remains at 41 percent, while 50 percent of respondents gave her job performance a thumbs-down.

Each of the Republican candidates have lower approval ratings than Hagan's, according to the poll, but none except for Tillis has extensive name recognition. More than 70 percent of those polled responded "not sure" when asked of their impression of each of the other seven candidates. Forty-six percent of respondents gave Tillis a "not sure."


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  • Michael Lashley Mar 13, 2014
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    For some reason democrats only vote during Presidential elections so all the polls in the world mean nothing unless democrats actually go to the polls and vote during this upcoming midterm election...

  • Charlie Watkins Mar 13, 2014
    user avatar

    Early polls are just fodder for the pundits. The polls that count will be taken a week before the vote.

  • Danny22 Mar 13, 2014

    Hagan will not win the next election. We know and have seen how she serves as a rubber stamp for the radical Obama agenda. She has parroted the same big lies: "You can keep your plan"...the list goes on."

  • Donna Davis Mar 13, 2014
    user avatar

    I can't believe the NC voter is dumb enough to vote GOP. What has McCory done for NC other than make it a laughing stock of the country. Is Obamacare that bad? You can now buy insurance while you sit in your trailer. I no longer have to flip your ER bill. NC don't make the same mistake like you did with McCory.

  • infj23 Mar 13, 2014

    I will not vote for Hagan:
    1. The country is worse off than it was 6 years ago. She was in the Senate and watched the country go downhill. Whether she tried and failed or did not try at all to stop the bleeding, she proved herself ineffective.
    2. She voted for Obamacare. Whether anyone likes or doesn't like the idea of the government getting involved in healthcare to this extent, Obamacare is a disaster. People in North Carolina are losing their jobs and full-time jobs are becoming part-time jobs. If this has to be done, there has to be a better way. Hagan voted along party lines for this monstrosity. She did not represent North Carolina, but her party. Had she had the courage to do the right thing and say NO to the president and her party, the country would have been spared this agony.

    Hagan has failed us. We deserve better.

  • Danny22 Mar 12, 2014

    Kay Hagan takes a lot of money from Emily's List which is an organization which fights for abortion on demand at any time. the great majority of North Carolinians do not support the murder of the unborn and partially born. Money from Emily's List is blood money.

  • goldenosprey Mar 12, 2014

    Danny, I and a majority of voters support a woman's right to choose and oppose big government getting between women and their doctors. Do you have any evidence of Senator Hagan supporting abortion "for any reason at any time"?

    Furthermore, I do not know how EVIL moveon.org is. Otherwise I would not send them checks. Moveon educates about pro-people policies that improve the lives of ALL Americans.
    Your boy Tillis from Florida, on the other hand is the ALEC legislator of the year, and his loyalties lie with large corporations and the top 1%.

    Talk about evil - pushing working Americans into poverty, allowing corporations to destroy the environment, turn workers to serfs and decimate the financial security of consumers and retirees, suppressing votes, I could go on... These are the goals of ALEC/Koch and their puppets in DC and state capitals.

  • Danny22 Mar 12, 2014

    Hagan's 2 largest donors are Emily's List and Move.On.org,--2 radical out of state groups. Emily's list gives money to Hagan in return for her support of abortion on demand for any reason and any time. Also, we all know how evil Moveon.org is.

  • Danny22 Mar 12, 2014

    Golden...Tillis, Brannon, or Harris would be a grand improvement of over the Emily's List candidate Hagan.

  • goldenosprey Mar 12, 2014

    View quoted thread

    ...and Tillis (R-ALEC) would be even worse.