And if you're North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R. NC), who has declared his candidacy, or State Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger (R. NC) you probably won't like this news either:One of the biggest beneficiaries of the incredible unpopularity of the North Carolina legislature may be Kay Hagan though. Voters are still pretty evenly divided in their feelings about her personally, with 43% approving to 45% disapproving. But she nevertheless has double digit leads over all 8 of her potential Republican opponents, an improvement from the numbers she's posted over the last couple months. She's up 10 on Phil Berger and Greg Brannon at 49/39, 11 on Thom Tillis at 49/38, 12 on Virginia Foxx at 49/37, 13 on Jim Cain and Renee Ellmers at 49/36, 14 on Mark Harris at 49/35, and 15 on Lynn Wheeler at 49/34.
As usual there are a lot more undecided Republicans in these match ups than there are Democrats, likely owing to the fact that most of the GOP hopefuls aren't terribly well known yet. The only potential candidate with over 50% name recognition is Foxx. Once Republicans eventually settle on someone and voters become more familiar with them the race will tighten up- but it's certainly good news for Hagan that she's so close to 50%. - PPP, 7/17/13
PPP surveyed 600 North Carolina voters, including an oversample of 373 usual Republican primary voters, between July 12th and 14th. The margin of error for the overall survey is +- 4.0%, and +-5.1% for the GOP portion.The bad news is that GOP voters are still shopping for another candidate- 16% say their top choice would be Virginia Foxx, 11% each pick Phil Berger, Jim Cain, and Renee Ellmers, 7% pick Greg Brannon, Tillis is in the 6th place at 5%, and the field is rounded out with Lynn Wheeler at 3% and Mark Harris at 1%.
One final thing that's worth noting on this poll is how bad Berger and Tillis' favorability numbers are. Each of them is at a -20 spread, 11/31 for Berger and 12/32 for Tillis. We generally find a built in net favorability of about -10 for a politician without much name recognition so part of it's that but in March we had Berger at a -14 spread and Tillis at a -9 one so their situations have gotten much worse over the course of the legislative session. Hagan's biggest liability next year might be her role in an incredibly unpopular Congress...but getting to run against the leaders of an incredibly unpopular legislature can only help her prospects. - PPP, 7/17/13
This Senate race is going to be a referendum on the North Carolina GOP and how Art Pope's influence on the state legislature. The North Carolina's radical GOP agenda has really made their approval ratings take a huge hit:
55% of voters are unhappy with the legislation that resulted in 70,000 North Carolinians losing their unemployment benefits. 76% of voters think that companies engaged in fracking in North Carolina should have to disclose all the chemicals they inject into the ground. 46% of voters think the ongoing Republican focus on Sharia Law is misplaced energy. Hence why the North Carolina GOP legislature has a 35/55 approval rating while North Carolina Democrats get a 51/42 approval rating. The protestors at the General Assembly meeting are also more popular than the North Carolina GOP getting a 47/41 approval rating.North Carolinians are very angry about the abortion bill that's been working its way through the General Assembly...and now their anger toward state government is really being directed toward Governor Pat McCrory.
For the first time since taking office we find that McCrory has a negative approval rating this month. Only 40% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove. That's down a net 15 points from June when he was at a 45/39 spread. While McCrory's numbers are pretty steady with Republicans, he continues to lose ground with Democrats (down a net 17 points from -36 at 24/60 last month to now -53 at 17/70) and independents (down a net 20 points from +12 at 46/34 last month to -8 at 41/49 now). Only 68% of people who voted for McCrory last fall continue to approve of his job performance.
Unhappiness over the abortion bill seems to be driving a lot of the increased unhappiness with the Republicans in state government this month. Only 34% of voters support the proposal to 47% who are opposed. They're even more unhappy with the process- 80% think it's inappropriate to combine abortion legislation with bills about motorcycle safety or Sharia Law.
This speaks to a greater issue voters have with the General Assembly's transparency- only 19% think the body is transparent in how it conducts its business to 51% who believe it is not. As a result North Carolinians think by a 48/33 margin that McCrory should veto the abortion law, including a 51/37 margin with independents. - PPP, 7/16/13
It's clear that if the North Carolina GOP nominates someone like Tillis or Berger, it could really screw their chances of beating Hagan. Tillis and Berger are the faces of the radical GOP agenda, hence why the NRSC is looking for an alternative:
Hagan can still win this race but she is going to need our support now more than ever. She's been raking in the campaign cash and she's been campaigning heavily against the North Carolina GOP's agenda:The National Republican Senatorial Committee was in Raleigh, N.C., earlier this week and met with several potential challengers for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's seat, a sign that national Republicans may not yet be sold on House Speaker Thom Tillis as their party's standardbearer in one of their top races this cycle.
The committee sat down with Tillis, as well as state Senate President Phil Berger and Rep. Renee Ellmers, both of whom are considering bids. Berger confirmed the meeting, telling Raleigh's WRAL radio station: "I'm not any closer to what the decision is, but I'm closer to a decision." Berger added that he'll make an announcement one way or the other by the end of the month.
Asked about the impression that the NRSC is seeking an alternative to Tillis, Shumaker said, "That was clearly not the indication given to us."
But Tillis has been plagued by bad press on the local and national level, and that may be giving national Republicans some pause. Tillis has been repeatedly criticized for raising money for his Senate campaign from groups lobbying the state House, which would be illegal if he were running a state, and not a federal, campaign. And though Tillis has generally sidestepped social issues, he'll soon have to take a stance on a highly controversial abortion bill recently passed by the state Senate. Deciding whether to support the bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, opens him up to cross-pressures on the issue of abortion rights. That bill and the growing protests of the Republican legislative agenda outside the state Capitol have gotten coverage not only across North Carolina but also across the country. The abortion bill and Capitol protests are also an issue for Berger, who championed the abortion legislation in the state Senate. - National Journal, 7/10/13
You can click here to donate to Hagan's campaign:Restrictions on women’s health snuck into unrelated bills. Legislation passed in surprise late-night sessions to shut down health clinics.
The fight to protect women’s health has officially come to North Carolina, as out-of-touch politicians in the legislature stoop to new lows.
Emboldened by their recent consolidation of power in the statehouse, they are looking to win this seat to expand their anti-women’s health agenda.
We know that we can and must defeat them, but we also know that it takes a strong, organized campaign and the will to do what’s right. It means we need you – today.
$15,000 – that’s what we need to raise by July 19 to take this effort to protect women’s health in North Carolina to the next level.
Click here to contribute $15 or whatever you can now so that we have the resources to defend the rights of women across the state and the country:
It’s unbelievable that we have to defend such basic rights in 2013. But we do.
They’re trying to shut down clinics that provide vital healthcare services to women and their families. Unfortunately, it’s happening in states across the country and has picked up steam here in North Carolina.
At the end of the day, if we want laws that work for women, we need more women making the laws.
Donate now – let them know we won’t let them play politics with women’s health:
Thanks for standing with me – and with women across the country.