The North Carolina Senate race has tightened up quite a bit in the last couple months, with early attacks ads on Kay Hagan and the unpopular rollout of Obamacare taking a toll on her poll numbers. Hagan is now basically tied with her Republican challengers, leading Heather Grant 43/40, Thom Tillis 44/42, and Mark Harris 43/41 while trailing Greg Brannon 44/43.
Over the last two months Hagan’s approval rating is pretty consistent. It was 43% in September and it’s at 44% now. But her disapproval has spiked from 39% all the way up t0 49% over that period of time. It’s no coincidence that the decline in Hagan’s approval numbers tracks pretty closely with a big decline in President Obama’s popularity over that same period of time. He’s gone from having voters in the state pretty evenly divided about him in September at 48/49 to disapproving pretty strongly at 43/53.
It seems likely that the difficulties with the rollout of Obamacare are helping to make life more difficult for Hagan. It’s always been unpopular in North Carolina and currently 38% of voters say they approve of it to 48% who disapprove, numbers pretty consistent with what we’ve found over the years. But what’s really hurting Democrats is its being back in the news- 69% of voters say its rollout has been unsuccessful so far to only 25% who deem it a success.