Daniel Doherty

Sen. Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) amusing and discredited attempts to brand her conservative opponent an Obamacare enthusiast when, in fact, he isn’t have not gone unnoticed. Neither has her voting record: Hagan has been an Obama rubber-stamp for years, supporting the president’s agenda some 96 percent of the time since assuming office. And yet, just last month she went ahead and attacked Thom Tillis for allegedly "praising" a law he's vowed to repeal -- a law that almost certainly wouldn't have passed without her support. That takes gall.

Speaking of Tillis, he recently clinched the Republican nomination with roughly 45 percent of the vote. It wasn’t even close. Thus, after avoiding an expensive primary-runoff and spending the last several weeks canvassing the state as the nominee, he seems to be in good shape and ready to take on Hagan. A new, right-leaning poll has him slightly ahead for the first time since winning the primary:

A conservative Civitas Institute poll has Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis leading Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan by just three points though more than half of voters say its time for a new face in the office.

Tillis leads with 39 percent to 36 percent for Hagan. Libertarian Sean Haugh got 8 percent in the poll of 600 voters May 20-22.

What we can infer from reading those top-line numbers is that a number of voters are still undecided. However, it’s also worth noting that when a third party candidate is not included in the sample, Tillis finds his lead somewhat extended (46/41). This is not good news for the incumbent Democrat if the Libertarian candidate drops out. At the same time, 55 percent of respondents want to replace Sen. Kagan with someone else, and, equally as alarming, the president’s job approval rating sits at an uninspiring 45 percent.

President Obama lost North Carolina two years ago; he might very well lose a close political ally in 2014.


Daniel Doherty

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

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography