The Lukens Company Releases New North Carolina Poll: Hagan Maintains Narrow Lead in North Carolina, Headed into Tuesday’s Debate

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A joint Susan B. Anthony List/The Lukens Company poll indicates incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Hagan holds a small lead over her Republican challenger – State House Speaker Thom Tillis – by a margin of 40.1% to 37.7%.

The winner will be determined by two things: which party does a better job mobilizing voter turnout, and which candidate gets the bulk of those late-deciding voters who are just now starting to pay attention to the race.

A joint Susan B. Anthony List/The Lukens Company poll indicates incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Hagan holds a small lead over her Republican challenger – State House Speaker Thom Tillis – by a margin of 40.1% to 37.7%.

The online poll of 955 likely voters was conducted between October 1st and October 6th. Senator Hagan’s lead is within the margin of error (3.2%), and a large number of respondents (20.2%) remain undecided, painting a picture of a volatile race that could very well go either way.

“This race remains tight,” said John Morey, President of Polling & Research for The Lukens Company. “The winner will be determined by two things: which party does a better job mobilizing voter turnout, and which candidate gets the bulk of those late-deciding voters who are just now starting to pay attention to the race.” According to Morey, the poll indicates Tillis has an opportunity to win a majority of late-breaking undecided voters if Tillis can convince them that he is the right candidate on the economy, national security, and taxes.

“There are plenty more voters for Tillis to win over, especially if President Obama’s popularity keeps plummeting,” agreed Seth Colton, Vice President of The Lukens Company. Colton thinks the poll results show that Senator Hagan is linked to President Obama in terms of popularity, but she’s been able to hold her lead thanks to a withering anti-Tillis negative ad campaign that has gotten the voters’ attention.

“In every single media outlet, voters who can recall seeing campaign ads are backing Hagan by a healthy margin. Her TV, radio and newspaper ads have really hurt Tillis. The only exceptions are direct mail and digital advertising, where Tillis is holding his own,” Colton said.

Among other noteworthy findings:

Congressional Republicans lead Democrats with 38.9% likely to vote for a Republican and 33.6% likely to vote for a Democrat. This is particularly significant given Hagan is leading in the poll for the Senate seat.

President Obama is underwater with North Carolina voters – his favorable rating is just 36.0%, compared to 55.9% of voters who rate him unfavorable.

Among undecided voters, more are pro-life (20.7%) than pro-choice (14.5%), leaving Senator Hagan vulnerable to new independent advertising campaigns focusing on her support for late-term abortion.

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John Morey
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