A new poll among likely North Carolina voters reveals just how close the election for U.S. Senate will likely be.
A High Point University poll released Monday finds Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) both with 40 percent of the vote, if the election were held today. The Libertarian candidate, pizza deliveryman Sean Haugh received 7 percent.
Mondays results show an apparent tightening of the race from last month’s High Point survey when the two frontrunners were in a statistical tie with Tillis receiving 40 percent of the vote and Hagan pulling in 42 percent.
“We have been saying all along that North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race had the potential to be extremely close. These results show that it may be a tie going into the home stretch. Voters make two basic decisions: whether to vote and for whom they will vote when they get there. This particular race will likely hinge on how partisans make that first decision,” Martin Kifer, director of the High Point University Poll, said Monday.
The poll of 410 likely voters also looked at Obama and Hagan’s approval numbers. Based on the poll, 57 percent of likely voters disapprove of Obama and 50 percent disapprove of Hagan.
“This U.S. Senate race is very close, and one reason for that is the generally negative outlook North Carolina’s voters have right now. This electoral environment will make it more difficult for either candidate to open up a wide lead, and the competitiveness of the race will compound this tendency by continuing to attract extremely high levels of outside spending and negative campaigning,” Kifer added.
The relative tightening of the race come following two debates and as the Tillis campaign and GOP has been hitting Hagan for her numerous absences from Armed Services committee hearings in the face of ISIS, supporting Obama policies, and conflicts of interest.
Monday, the North Carolina Republican Party highlighted a new report from Inside Sources about another possible conflict of interest, charging that Hagan has profited from her support of the Export Import Bank.
According to the report, Hagan’s husband serves on the board of and owns up to $250,000 stock in Mother Murphy’s Laboratories, which has received $300,000 annually in Ex-Im Bank loans since 2010.