When we look back on it the 2008 Senate election may be remembered as a contest of numbers. 92 and 93, as seared into the consciousness of North Carolina voters through a DSCC advertising campaign, have been vital in efforts to tie Elizabeth Dole to George W. Bush and the nation's economic woes, as well as to make Dole out as an ineffective Senator. That's propelled Kay Hagan into the lead in our last eight polls.
Here are five other numbers that speak to Hagan's surprisingly strong standing a few days out from the election:
-18. That's the percentage of people who voted for Elizabeth Dole in the 2002 Senate race but are now backing Kay Hagan. That's a lot of lost support for the incumbent since she was first elected.
-7. That's Hagan's lead among female voters. Dole got a lot of crossover Democratic support and did very well with woman independents when she ran originally. By nominating another woman the Democrats effectively neutralized any advantage Dole received there in 2002.
-8. That's the share of the black vote Dole is currently receiving. In 2002 her celebrity and moderate veneer helped her to do much better with African American voters than most Republicans do. Fully 25% of blacks in our last poll who voted in 2002 said they voted for Dole but she's lost almost all of that support this time.
-17. That's the proportion of North Carolinians planning to vote this fall who say they did not cast a ballot in the 2002 Senate race. Between in migration and the awakening of the apathetic, there are going to be a lot of folks coming out to vote this year who were not part of the North Carolina electorate when Elizabeth Dole was first elected. Those folks are overwhelmingly supportive of Hagan, by a 58-28 margin.
-50. That's the percentage of independent voters Hagan is receiving, 18% more than Dole. The Republican incumbent won with that demographic in 2002 but independent voters are going for the Democrats in the federal offices by a wide margin this time around.