Sen. Kay Hagan's Lead Over Thom Tillis Narrows in NC

Image: Sen. Kay Hagan's Lead Over Thom Tillis Narrows in NC North Carolina State House Speaker Thom Tillis, left, and U.S. Sen Kay Hagan, D-N.C. (Chuck Burton/AP; Ron Sachs/DPA/Landov)

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 10:25 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Republican Thom Tillis is slowly whittling away Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s lead in North Carolina, a new poll shows.

The survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic pollster, shows her lead has been reduced to four points from seven points last month.

Hagan is leading the speaker of the state house by 42 percent to 38 percent, in a seat seen as vital for Democrats as they battle to hold onto the Senate.

Libertarian Sean Haugh, who could make the difference in the election by drawing voters  from Tillis, held onto 8 percent of the vote. The poll revealed that Haugh's supporters would support Tillis 61 to 19 percent over Hagan if they had to choose between the two candidates.

The poll also found that 49 percent of voters disapproved of Hagan’s job performance, while 48 percent were disappointed with Tillis’ work in the state legislature.

"The overall picture in this race remains the same — it's close with voters in a situation where they have to choose between two unpopular candidates," said the survey. "But this does make six months in a row with Hagan in the lead, even if it's a small one."

The PPP poll of 856 likely voters was conducted Aug. 14-17, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, Eighty percent of interviews were conducted by phone;  20 percent  over the Internet.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted the billionaire Koch brothers for spending millions of dollars to back conservative candidates, including Tillis, while targeting Hagan with a series of attack ads.

"They think they have enough money to buy America," Reid said. "Not only with the U.S. Senate, not only with the House of Representatives, but with the constitutional offices, as well."

Real Clear Politics called the North Carolina race a toss-up, giving Tillis a slight 1.7 percent edge.

Tillis may get an election boost next Tuesday when former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney attends a fundraiser in Charlotte, according to Politico.

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