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Kay Hagan Holds Small Lead in New Poll

Hagan is a North Carolina Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll showed Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, holding a small lead over Republican Thom Tillis in the contested North Carolina Senate race.  

The Elon University poll found Hagan ahead of Tillis, 44 percent to 40 percent, among likely voters. The margin of error for the poll is 3.91 points.  

Republicans must pick up a net of six seats to gain control of the Senate, and the Tar Heel Senate race is one of their top targets in the midterms. Hagan has held a narrow edge in most polls over the past two months.

Also in the poll, a majority of voters are underwhelmed by Hagan's job performance during her first term in the Senate — 51 percent say they disapprove. But likely voters look less favorably on the state legislature, where Tillis is the Speaker of the House — with 54 percent saying they disapprove of the job the legislature has done.
Democrats' strategy has been to repeatedly attack Tillis for votes taken by the legislature during his tenure.

The pollsters note a gaping gender gap, with 52 percent of women saying they prefer Hagan, and 33 percent saying they prefer Tillis. Among men, 50 percent say they support Tillis, and 38 percent support Hagan.  

President Barack Obama is also unpopular in the Tar Heel State. 54 percent say they disapprove of his job performance, while just 38 percent say they approve. Tillis has worked to tie Hagan to the president.  

The Elon poll used live interviewers to survey 1,078 North Carolina residents from Sept. 5-9 on landlines and cell phones. Of those, 629 were likely voters. 

The race is rated  Tilts Democrat  by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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