Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NC Senate: Hagan Leads

Kay Hagan 42
Elizabeth Dole 39
Chris Cole 5

What the DSCC is doing to Elizabeth Dole right now is the political equivalent of a punch in the gut from Muhammad Ali.

Kay Hagan has taken a narrow lead in North Carolina's Senate race after trailing by 14 points just two months ago.

There's not much doubt where the momentum is coming from. 69% of voters in the state have seen the television ads about Elizabeth Dole's #93 ranking for effectiveness in the US Senate, and among those folks Hagan has an even wider 45-39 lead. Dole's saving grace is voters who don't watch much tv- she leads 45-34 with those who have not seen the ad.

Hagan's movement is coming with two demographics that tend to be key to Republican success in the state- white and older voters. With white voters Hagan has halved a 55-35 deficit from last month to a 47-37 one. Among senior citizens she has pulled within 43-42 after trailing 57-33 in the previous poll.

One small note of concern for Hagan in the poll may be that while Dole has dropped 10 points after leading 49-40 last month, Hagan has only gained two points. A lot of the movement is into the undecided column. Hagan will need to do more to define herself positively in voters' minds as the race moves forward.

Elizabeth Dole has plenty of money and a lot of time to recover but this race has moved itself firmly into the tossup category over the last month, a designation that would have once seemed unthinkable.

Full results here.

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