Incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has been able to maintain a consistent lead over North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, but a new survey shows her lead narrower than in other recent polls.
The latest poll from High Point University
gives Hagan a two-point lead over Tillis, with 42 percent of likely voters supporting her and 40 percent backing Tillis. About 12 percent of likely voters are still undecided.
A recent Elon University poll
found similar sentiments toward Hagan, who had a 45 percent approval rating, but 51 percent voicing disapproval.
With the race too close to call, who wins this important Senate contest could come down to which issues are most dominant on Election Day.
“The overall differences in trust that the likely voters have in the candidates on these issues is striking,” said Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “We do not yet know how important an issue like national security will be in this election, but we have seen these candidates competing on issues like jobs, the economy and education throughout the campaign. That these candidates have different strengths helps explain why the overall race is so close.”
Despite low approval ratings, Hagan has consistently held a lead over Tillis that ranges between a one-point to a 10-point margin, according to RealClearPolitics
On individual issues, the HPU poll found voters tended to break along typical lines with Tillis holding the upper hand on economic and foreign policy issues and Hagan winning the on Medicare, education and Social Security.
Tillis holds a 24 percent lead over Hagan on the issue of protecting America from foreign threats and 11 percent advantage on “improving economic conditions.”
Both Tillis and Hagan have expressed support for the air strikes launched against Syria this week, the Fayetteville Observer
Hagan, on the other hand, leads on issues that typically favor Democrats. She is up 19 points over Tillis on education, preserving Medicare and has a 12-point advantage on the question of who would better protect Social Security, the poll found.
Hagan's advantage on education comes as no surprise considering the relentless attacks on Tillis concerning his management of the state's education budget, reports the News & Observer.
In fact, Hagan has dominated the airwaves throughout the campaign thanks, in part, to the financial edge she has over Tillis, reports The New York Times
In the last month, Hagan and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have aired 61 percent of advertisements, while the Center for Public Integrity
reports Hagan's own campaign aired approximately 1,200 TV ads last week, an average of about one ad every nine minutes.
The wild card in the race could be Independent candidate and pizza delivery man, Sean Haugh, if he is able to peel enough votes away from either candidate in the final days of the campaign.
Recent polls conducted by the liberal Public Policy Polling and the conservative Civitas Institute show Haugh could win 6 or 7 percent of the vote, according to The Independent Weekly
Tillis has attempted to lessen the impact of Hagan's financial advantage by bringing in high-profile Republicans.
In the last month, Tillis has campaigned with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to the state, according to WNCN.com
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