Daniel Doherty

Rasmussen Reports has conducted its first study appraising who’s ahead in the 2014 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina. Incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), an Obamacare supporter who is still peddling the “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” lie on her website, is trailing one of her Republican challengers by 7 percentage points. Tellingly, these results confirm PPP’s findings two weeks ago which showed Hagan losing to every GOP candidate vying for the Republican nomination:

Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan trails her two leading Republican challengers in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the 2014 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina.

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.)

Polls conducted nearly a year before the 2014 mid-term elections mean very little. But Hagan is a top Republican target, so the fact that she’s losing by so much so early is significant. Plus, whoever becomes the GOP nominee and challenges her in the general election will only become more recognizable as the campaign gets further underway.

Obamacare aside, perhaps one reason why her electoral prospects are less-than-inspiring is that the leader of her party isn’t all that popular anymore. Indeed, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the vast majority of respondents say they’re losing confidence in their commander-in-chief:

In another gauge, just 37 percent of Americans express confidence in Obama to make the right decisions for the country’s future – a number that’s almost audibly deflated from 61 percent when he took office five years ago. And the president’s ratings are deeply polarized along political fault lines – partisan, ideological, racial and ethnic, generational and policy-based alike.

Obama’s weakness leaves his party vulnerable: Registered voters divide essentially evenly, 46-45 percent, between Republican and Democratic candidates for Congress next fall. That’s a challenge for the Democrats, because Republicans usually hold the edge in midterm turnout. And it’s shifted from an 8-point Democratic lead in a pair of ABC/Post polls last year.

The president’s unpopularity thus will inevitably trickle-down to the state and local level, where antsy Democrats are already fearing widespread disillusionment with his policies will impact their respective races. On Tuesday night, however, the president will set his agenda and make the case why his policies are moving the nation forward.

Expect red state Democrats everywhere to be paying very close attention.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography