It wasn’t so very long ago — as in, last September — that Democratic senator and enthusiastic ObamaCare cheerleader Kay Hagan was posting fairly comfortable margins leading all of the Republican challengers to her reelection bid this year. Cue the ObamaCare initiation sequence, however, and that all started to change pretty quickly. These past few months have been whittling away at her erstwhile lead, and even as the Republican primary race is starting to solidify, Public Policy Polling‘s latest update indicates that all of her potential opponents are seriously gaining on her:
For the first time in our polling of the North Carolina Senate race, presumptive frontrunner Thom Tillis has opened a little bit of space between himself and the rest of his opponents in the Republican primary. Tillis now leads the field with 19% to 11% for Greg Brannon and Heather Grant, 8% for Mark Harris, and 7% for Bill Flynn. …
39% of voters in the state say they approve of the job Hagan is doing to 49% who disapprove. She has 1 or 2 point deficits against each of her potential GOP foes. She’s down by 1 to Heather Grant (42/41) and Thom Tillis (43/42), and trails by 2 against the rest of the field (43/41 against Greg Brannon and Mark Harris, 44/42 against Bill Flynn.)
Hagan’s main issue is that with independents she has a 30/56 approval rating and trails all of her opponents by double digits. Unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act seems to be driving much of her trouble. Only 38% of voters in the state overall support it to 48% who are opposed, and independents are more against it than the overall electorate at 31/57.
As of PPP’s mid-December poll, Hagan was still leading the now-frontrunning Tillis by two points, but he’s already been campaigning hard against her ObamaCare record and it would appear that all of her recent attempts to temper her longstanding support for President Obama’s crowning legislative achievement have been for naught.
I’m sure Hagan is mighty glad to have the Senate in-session as an excuse not to show up and support President Obama when he hits North Carolina for his umpteenth economic pivot today, but Republicans certainly won’t let her off the hook that easily: