The North Carolina politician who's seen the best improvement in their approval numbers since the start of the year, albeit quietly, has been Kay Hagan. Her numbers still leave something to be desired with 34% of voters giving her good marks to 39% who disapprove. But that represents a significant improvement from where she was in January when just 29% of voters said they approved of her with 42% disapproving.
Her most dramatic improvement has come with independents, whose negative feelings seem to have softened a little bit with the health care issue in the rear view mirror. Earlier this year Hagan saw a -27 approval spread with them at 21/48 but she's improved 15 points on that front to -12 at 27/39. She's also seeing an increase in popularity with her base, from 49% approval with Democrats earlier this year to now 56%.
At the start of 2010 there was a 16 point gap in the approval spreads of Hagan and Richard Burr, with her at -13 and him at 3. Now there's just a 3 point gap with Hagan's at -5 and Burr's at -2.
The main reason Hagan's numbers continue to be in overall negative territory is that Republicans are more strong in their disapproval (72%) of her than Democrats are in their favor (56%). That's mostly because 29% of Democrats haven't yet formed an opinion of Hagan while only 19% of GOP voters reserve judgment.
Hagan has a way to go but unlike most politicians across the country her numbers are at least on an upward trajectory so far in 2010.