The latest on the presidential horse race.

Hagan Holds a Minor Lead over Tillis for the North Carolina Senate

USA Today / Suffolk, 8/16 – 8/19

North Carolina Senate

  • Kay Hagan (D) – 45%
  • Thom Tillis (R) – 43%
  • Sean Haugh (L) – 5%
  • Undecided – 7%

The North Carolina senate race remains at a deadlock between Democrat Kay Hagan, 45% and Republican Thom Tillis, 43%. Libertarian, Sean Haugh holds 5% of the votes and 7% of voters are undecided. The USA Today / Suffolk University poll surveyed 500 likely voters that were interviewed by landline and cellphone. To date, Hagan has maintained a slight 1.7% lead. It is unlikely that this lead will hold and the senate race will remain close right up until the end of voting.

Historically, North Carolina tends to favor the Republican Party. There was a large presence of Democrats, but the party was split between progressives and conservatives. The conservative factions sided with the Republicans whenever their party deviated too far left.

Hagan achieved nothing while in office. She stuck to the national agenda of the Democratic party and she will not be able to rely on the surge of African-American voters the same way that she did during the Barack Obama election. While Tillis is also an unpopular choice, he may be able to capitalize on the ineffective nature of Hagan’s time in office. If he can secure votes from Sean Haugh and the undecided vote, he may be able to sneak in a win and secure the senate for the Republicans.

Whether Democrats like it or not, Obama still heavily influences voting. 33% of voters still believe that a vote for Congress is a vote for Obama, 30% believe that it is a vote against Obama, and 33% believe that Obama plays no factor in their decision to vote.

“Tillis not only has an opponent with a low job approval, he benefits from President Obama and Obamacare showing negative ratings,” says David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “But Hagan has a Democratic party-registration advantage, higher name recognition and a Libertarian candidate on the ballot who is siphoning votes away from Tillis.”

Photo credit: AP