Local Politics

Dole Holds Commanding Lead Over Senate Challengers

Posted April 15, 2008 1:41 p.m. EDT

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole enjoys a double-digit lead over two potential Democratic opponents, according to a recent poll.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 500 likely voters in North Carolina on April 10 and found that Dole would defeat state Sen. Kay Hagan, D-Guilford, by 52 to 39 percent. Dole would defeat Chapel Hill financial adviser Jim Neal 51 to 37 percent, according to the poll.

Hagan and Neal face off in the May 6 primary for the right to face Dole in November.

Dole leads Neal by double-digits among men and women. She has an 18-point lead over Hagan among men, but a 9-point lead among women.

Dole also leads among the critical bloc of unaffiliated voters, the poll shows. People not registered as Republicans or Democrats favor her over Hagan 48 to 36 percent, while Neal trails among unaffiliated voters 43 to 32 percent.

Voters younger than 30 favor Hagan over Dole 45 to 39 percent. In a head-to-head match, Neal and Dole would split young voters evenly, the poll shows.

The Iraq War and health care are two other areas where Democrats fare well against Dole, according to the poll.

A majority of respondents who rate the war as the most important issue facing the U.S. favor either Hagan or Neal against Dole. The health care issue is even more strongly tilted toward the Democrats, with more than two-thirds of those polled voting for Hagan or Neal.

Dole has a 61 percent favorable rating among North Carolina voters, while both Hagan and Neal's favorable ratings were in the mid-30s. About a third of the voters said they hadn't formed an opinion about either Democratic candidate.

The poll results have a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.