Yesterday Kay Hagan released an internal poll showing her trailing Elizabeth Dole by only four points.
In May 2002 Democrats in North Carolina were touting their internal polling as well- showing Erskine Bowles trailing Dole by only 19 points. Other polling out at the time had the margin over 30 points, so even though it showed Bowles getting defeated pretty roundly people were skeptical of his internal poll.
Not only is Hagan doing way better in this month's internal poll, but it's also very much in line with what independent polling is showing.
There's no doubt Dole's in a much worse situation than she was at this same time in the cycle the first time she ran.