AI WB Political Polling

NEW POLL: Hagan Leading Tillis in Fall Matchup, Harris Moves to 2nd Place in GOP Primary Over Brannon, Voters Prefer Candidate with Business Track Record


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NEW POLL: Hagan Leading Tillis in Fall Matchup, Harris Moves to 2nd Place in GOP Primary Over Brannon, Voters Prefer Candidate with Business Track Record

New North Carolina-based polling firm  American Insights  emerges with exclusive new data on U.S. Senate horse race

(Raleigh, NC – February 25, 2014) — American Insights (AI), a new North Carolina-based polling and microtargeting firm, is emerging on the national stage with the release of exclusive new data on North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race. Today’s AI Signature Poll reveals a slight shift in the race between Senator Kay Hagan and her would-be GOP rivals. While a plurality of registered voters do not approve of Senator Hagan, American Insights finds that, for the first time in 2014, the Democratic Senator is currently leading GOP frontrunner Thom Tillis in a potential fall matchup.

At the same time, voters clearly prefer a candidate with a business track record over a candidate from other professional backgrounds, which gives a potential advantage to Tillis should he face Hagan in November.

In the GOP primary race for U.S. Senate, Tills (11%) only holds a 4 point lead over Mark Harris (7%), who has moved into second place over third place rivals Greg Brannon (4%) and Heather Grant (4%). 55% of registered voters remain undecided. This poll finds a GOP primary race that is closer than previously reported with a more significant number of undecided voters.

American Insights, the new Raleigh-based polling, survey research, and microtargeting firm, will regularly take the pulse of North Carolinians to determine where they stand on key topics including politics, public policy, business, and cultural issues.

The firm’s website – – will serve as a new hub for data and intelligence on topics of interest, featuring exclusive AI Trend Charts, which aggregate all North Carolina polling data on key topics, providing a one-stop snapshot of current trends in the state. Following @AmericanInsight on Twitter will also afford users the latest insights from the AI team.


Senator Hagan’s approval is two points under water, 37% to 39%, with 15% strongly approving and 27% strongly disapproving.

  • Hagan is upside down with Independent voters, 28% approve to 44% disapprove.
  • Hagan’s net approval is within a 3-point margin on all age groups except the oldest (65+), which registers 36% approval to 45% disapproval.
  • Women approve of Hagan’s performance 38% to 36%, but Men disapprove by a 6-point margin (36%-42%).

In considering candidates for U.S. Senate, voters would prefer a professional background in Business (23%) over Faith-Based (14%), Finance (14%), Health Care (13%), Law (9%), or Government (7%).

  • Business was number one for voters across all parties and age groups, except Democrats who placed a background in Health Care (17%) slightly ahead of Business (16%).
  • Republicans as well as voters aged 35 to 64 prefer a Faith-Based background second only to Business.
  • Independents place Finance (15%) behind Business (25%) and slightly ahead of Faith-Based (14%).

​​Thom Tillis leads the Republican Senate Primary with 11% of the Republican vote, followed by Mark Harris (7%), Greg Brannon (4%), and Heather Grant (4%).  More than half (55%) of Republicans remain undecided.

  • Among Strong Republicans, Tillis leads Harris 12% to 10% with Brannon and Grant at 4%.
  • Among Conservative Republicans, Tillis and Harris are tied at 10% followed by Brannon (5%) and Grant (4%).
  • Among Moderate Republicans, Tillis leads with 13% followed by Brannon (5%), Grant (4%) and Harris (2%).

In hypothetical senate general election matchups, Hagan leads Tillis 38% to 35%; Hagan also leads Harris (39% to 35%) and Brannon (38% to 36%).

  • Mark Harris performs better against Hagan with Independents than other GOP hopefuls, a 12-point advantage (37%-25%) compared to 10 for Brannon (38%-28%) and 5 for Tillis (35%-30%).
  • Hagan draws 74% of Democrats against Harris and Brannon but only 70% of her party against Tillis.
  • Brannon suffers the smallest deficit among 18 to 34 year olds, only 3 points (34%-37%) compared to 9 for Tillis (29%-38%) and 12 for Harris (29%-41%).

See full survey questions and results here.

METHODOLOGY: American Insights surveyed 611 registered voters in North Carolina between February 11th and 15th. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.0% (+/-7.6%. for the Republican primary). Mixed modal surveying methodology included 60% landline phone, 20% cell phone, and 20% online.  All respondents were asked questions concerning basic demographics, and the entire sample was weighted to accurately reflect the actual registered voter population in North Carolina according to age, race, gender, geographic area and party registration.  On party registration, the sample precisely matched the registered voter population at 43% Democrat, 31% Republican, 26% Unaffiliated.

American Insights discovers and reveals the genuine opinions and motivations of Americans through polling, survey research and microtargeting, yielding actionable insights for our clients and the public.