NC Senate Primary at Hand, But Regardless of Republican Winner, Democrat Incumbent Kay Hagan Faces Uphill Climb to November

SurveyUSA Operations - 04/03/14 11:07 AM

North Carolina Democratic Incumbent Senator Kay Hagan will face a Republican challenger on Election Day 11/04/14. It will be one of 2 Republicans who emerge from a 05/06/14 Republican Primary and 07/15/14 Republican Runoff. The problem for Hagan is, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for Time Warner Cable News North Carolina, no matter which of 5 Republicans she goes up against, she’s in trouble: While it’s premature for Republicans to count their chickens, it’s not too soon for Democrats nationwide to be worried, since a Hagan defeat would flip a seat in the United States Senate from Democratic hands to Republican hands, and could help Republicans take control of the US Senate in the next Congress. (Republicans already control the US House of Representatives.)

First, to the NC Republican Primary: 5 weeks till votes are counted, Thom Tillis, Greg Brannon and Mark Harris are the only 3 candidates in double-digits, Tillis at 23%, Brannon at 15%, Harris at 11%. Others trail. None today appear likely to get to the 40% threshold, needed to avoid a runoff. Tillis’ support is male, older, conservative, educated, affluent and spread evenly throughout the state. Brannon’s support is made up disproportionately of unaffiliated voters, heavily concentrated in Southern and Coastal NC. Harris’ support is younger and less educated. 1 in 3 likely NC Republican Primary voters remain undecided. 433 likely Republican Primary voters were interviewed.

Now, on to the November General Election. 7 months till voting begins, we caution that much can change, but today, SurveyUSA finds that incumbent Democrat Hagan does not defeat any Republican challenger. 1,489 likely NC general election voters interviewed. There are some pollster semantics involved here, since Hagan trails by as few as 1 and no more than 4 points, which means that the Republican advantage may or may not be statistically significant. So we must be cautious not to say that in every case Hagan “trails.” However, in no case does Hagan lead. Here we go:

Tillis edges Hagan 46% to 45% today.
Brannon edges Hagan 47% to 45% today.
Harris edges Hagan 47% to 43% today.
Ted Alexander, who gets just 6% in the Republican primary, edges Hagan 46% to 44%.
Heather Grant, who gets just 6% in the Republican primary, edges Hagan 46% to 44%.
In no hypothetical head-to-head matchup does Hagan get more than 45% of the vote.

Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 2,200 North Carolina adults 03/27/14 through 03/31/14. Of the adults, 1,930 were registered to vote. Of the registered, SurveyUSA determined that 433 were likely to vote in the 05/06/14 Republican Primary, and only those likely Republican Primary voters were asked the Republican Primary questions. A larger group of 1,489 likely general election voters was asked about the head-to-head November match-ups. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (78% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (22% of registered voters), were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

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