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Dem Hagen Draws Challenge from NC House Speaker

Dem Hagen Draws Challenge from NC House Speaker


NC Democrat Sen. Kay Hagen, who rode the Obama wave in 2008 to election, has drawn her first top-tier opponent for 2014. NC House Speaker Thom Tillis, who orchestrated the GOP take over of the chamber in 2010, announced on Friday he will challenge the first-term Democrat. His announcement is a big recruiting win for the GOP.

Last week, a poll from Democrat firm PPP revealed the challenge facing Hagen. While she holds single-digit leads over potential challenges, she doesn’t crack the 50% threshold that signals an incumbent well-positioned for reelection. Just 46% of voters approve of her job performance, while 40% disapprove. President Obama is 8 points upside down in the Tarheel State, with 45% approving and 53% disapproving of his job performance. 

Although Obama won the state in 2008, he lost to Mitt Romney last year. 

Tillis joins physician Greg Bannon, a Ron Paul supporter, in the GOP primary for the nomination. Reps. Renee Elmers and Virginia Foxx are also exploring runs. Although Tillis is little-known statewide, his office and experience should allow him to raise the funds necessary to introduce himself to voters. 

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