Tags: Polls | North Carolina | Senate race | Kay Hagan | Thom Tillis

Poll: NC Senate Race 'Virtually Tied'

Poll: NC Senate Race 'Virtually Tied'
Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, left, and GOP challenger, Thom Tillis. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images ;Jeff Siner/MCT/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 October 2014 05:50 PM

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and GOP challenger, Thom Tillis are "virtually tied" in their too-close-to-call race in North Carolina as election day closes in, a new survey showed Wednesday.

Hagan leads Tillis, the speaker of the state House, 46.8 percent to 45.4 percent among likely voters and those who are leaning toward a certain candidate, the new Suffolk University/USA Today poll of likely voters found.

Most polls from September found Hagan besting Tillis by anywhere from 3 to 7 percentage points, The Hill reports.

"The race is virtually tied [within decimal points of 45 percent] among those who definitely are planning to vote for one candidate or the other," David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a column for USA Today.

"Hagan's lead results from leaners who, if forced to choose, would opt for the Democratic senator."

But Paleologos also notes: "Both candidates are benefiting from a coalescing of their respective demographic bases."

"Now that voters see the reality of an election in four weeks, they are coming home to the candidates who share their values and vision for the next six years," he told the newspaper.

The poll found Hagan is ahead 52 percent-38 percent among women, and that she leads in the Raleigh-Durham area, 56 percent-36 percent. Among voters who put education and health care as priorities, she's also ahead: 65 percent-23 percent and 56 percent-34 percent, respectively, the poll shows.

Tillis leads among men, 53 percent-38 percent; voters in the mountain west counties, 58 percent-33 percent; and among voters who said the budget and foreign policy are top priorities, 64 percent-31 percent and 60 percent-29 percent respectively, the poll showed.

The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The poll also hinted at the success of the candidates' strategies and ads, Paleologos said, with foreign policy/terrorism being the biggest issue voters consider important for Congress to deal with – doubling from 9 percent in August to 18 percent.

And an ad that tried to link Hagan's absences from the Senate Armed Services
Committee to a failed international policy against the Islamic State group (ISIS) had some impact – though 53 percent said it won't affect their ballot choice, he added.

Minority voters could make or break the race, Paleologos told The Hill, predicting Hagan "will win easily” if minority voters make up a quarter of the electorate.

"However, if minority intensity and participation falls into the mid-to-low teens, Tillis will ride his commanding lead among white voters right into the Senate,” he said.

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Incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan andGOP challenger, Thom Tillis are virtually tied in their too-close-to-call race in North Carolina as election day closes in, a new survey showed Wednesday.
North Carolina, Senate race, Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 05:50 PM
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