Election 2014: GOP Has Midterm Engagement Advantage
Bad news hit the re-election campaign of Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) yesterday with fresh polling information out from Rasmussen Reports that shows her now definitively trailing two GOP candidates who want to take her place:
A new statewide survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Thom Tillis, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives, leading Hagan by seven points – 47% to 40%. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Tea Party activist Dr. Greg Brannon leads Hagan by four – 43% to 39%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and 14% are undecided.
Hagan was elected to her first term in the Senate in 2008 with 53% of the vote but has come under increasing criticism at home for her support of the new national health care law. Republicans will hold a May 6 primary to choose their Senate nominee.
Earlier this month, even the reliably left wing NC polling outfit Public Policy Polling indicated that Hagan’s prior leads in match-ups with potential 2014 Republican candidates had evaporated. Obamacare and Hagan’s unfailing support for it is largely to blame. Hagan, who rode in on the Obama 2008 wave but who now does whatever she can to distance herself from him, has to be worried.
In spite of both President Obama’s and Senator Hagan’s repeated promises to the contrary, some 473,000+ North Carolinians lost their healthcare insurance as a result of Obamacare regulations and many more found out their premiums were rising by percentages in the double digits. So it’s no surprise that close to 60% of residents view the so-called “Affordable Care Act” unfavorably . It’s also not shocking how fast NC’s junior Senator – whose favorability rankings are tanking – is trying to run away from it. But while it’s clear this issue is negatively impacting the Hagan campaign, another issue that could also cost her voters this November is her staunch support for abortion.
North Carolina, like many states, is one that is divided on the issue of the legality of abortions. But while polling information on the issue is scarce, a 2011 poll taken by Elon University showed that over 60% believed abortion should be available only in cases of rape, incest, or health of the mother. A September 2013 poll, also conducted by Elon, showed that 45% of North Carolinians supported making access to abortion tougher while 41% opposed. There is a clear pro-life tilt to this state that should concern Team Hagan.
Being pro-abortion in a Southern state is not exactly a badge of honor many Democrat politicians wear on their respective sleeves, and Kay Hagan is no exception to that rule. Not only does she not mention her support of abortion on her campaign website (she covers it with vague language about “protecting and strengthening women’s health care” – which is code for “abortion”) nor on her official Senate page, but it was discovered recently that Hagan might be trying to cleverly disguise pro-choice donors on her campaign finance disclosure forms. Why hide it, Kay?
With that in mind – plus the fact that she rarely talks about abortion outside of the abstract, the casual news watcher/observer would never know that Senator Hagan consistently gets a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, was endorsed by the pro-abortion group Emily’s List last year, and hobnobbed with Planned Parenthood at the 2012 Democrat National Convention, held in Charlotte, NC. In fact, it was recently announced by Planned Parenthood NC that Hagan was going to get the help of the national Planned Parenthood organization in her fight to keep her seat in the US Senate.
The Senator may talk a moderate tone on “women’s health”, but she certainly doesn’t walk it. North Carolinians – especially those not yet born – deserve better.