Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer: New poll is latest showing Hagan with edge in Senate race

A new poll released today is the third in a week showing Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan with an advantage over Republican Thom Tillis in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.The latest came this morning from American Insights, a Republican-leaning firm in Raleigh. It found Hagan leading Tillis 43 percent to 34 percent among registered voters, with Libertarian Sean Haugh pulling 5 percent. The margin of error is 4.6 percentage points.The 9-point lead is Hagan’s largest in any recent poll.

“The race has unmistakably shifted towards Sen. Hagan in recent days,” says polling director Pearce Godwin, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole. “This poll is a continuation and affirmation of the very recent trend in Sen. Hagan’s direction. But there is still a lot of time left on the clock, and I would be surprised if this race does not revert to a jump ball between now and November.”

Godwin says it appears to be a result at least in part of the barrage of Democratic ads against Tillis. Hi polls also suggest that Hagan was helped by her first debate with Tillis. Fifty-seven percent of likely female voters and 50 percent of like male voters said she performed better, according to the AI poll.

On Thursday a Rasmussen poll of likely voters showed Hagan leading Tillis 45 percent to 39 percent, while 6 percent favored somebody else and 9 percent were undecided.

A Survey USA/Civitas poll released the same day showed Hagan ahead 46 percent to 43 percent, with Haugh taking 5 percent.

Nate Silver’s 538 blog took note of those two polls last week.

“The two polls together moved Hagan from a 45 percent underdog to a 61 percent percent favorite,” it said. “With Hagan now leading, the FiveThirtyEight model does not project a single state in which President Obama won in either 2008 or 2012 to switch from Democratic to Republican control.”