Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hagan unpopular too

As Kay Hagan wraps up her first year in the US Senate she finds her poll numbers in a similar situation to the state's other major politicians- upside down.

36% of North Carolina voters approve of Hagan's job performance to 44% who disapprove. She gets good marks from 57% of Democrats but just 29% of independents and 9% of Republicans.

I don't get the sense that Hagan is particularly well known to most voters in North Carolina- her political fate has been tied up in things bigger than herself over the last two years. Her victory last fall had more to do with Elizabeth Dole imploding and general dislike of national Republicans than it had to do with herself, although she gets a lot of points for running a strong campaign that allowed her to take advantage of everything that was going on. At the same time her unpopularity now is more a reflection of voters being unhappy with Congressional Democrats in general than it is people being actively unhappy with her.

Nevertheless these numbers after a year may be an early indication that Hagan is not likely to settle into a long Senate career with easy reelections. Being a Senator from North Carolina is a low security job, and it's a job no one other than Jesse Helms has been able to keep for more than a single term in upwards of 40 years. It's looking like Richard Burr will have a struggle to stop that trend and Hagan may as well...but that's a long ways down the road.

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