The president’s approval numbers are tanking (we’re officially at George W. Bush levels, guys) so it only makes sense that a vulnerable Senate Democrat who (a) hails from North Carolina and (b) voted for Obamacare would be feeling the pinch at the polls right about now. But let's put aside the botched rollout for a second. Millions of Americans are losing their coverage and/or doctors, and they’re not happy about it. But what can ordinary citizens even do about it, you ask? They can make their voices heard at the ballot box.
And they’re already starting to:
Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-N.C.) lead has all but disappeared in a new poll, a sign that ObamaCare's struggles and attack ads airing in the state are taking a toll on her standing.
Hagan leads North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tilis (R) by 44 percent to 42 percent in a new survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, a precipitous drop from a 15-point lead she held in a September poll from the same firm.
She holds similarly narrow leads against the other Republicans in the field, and actually trails Tea Party candidate Greg Brannon (R) by 44 to 43 percent. Her approval rating has stayed steady, with 44 percent approving of her now, but her disapproval rating has spiked from 39 percent in September to 49 percent today.
Hagan is a top GOP target this election cycle — Republican strategists have said her seat is the most likely tipping point for Senate control — and outside Republican groups have been on the air lambasting her record and ripping her for backing ObamaCare in recent weeks.
The race, as it stands, is basically a coin flip. Naturally, we don’t know who the Republican nominee will be, but all candidates in the race stand poised, ready and waiting, to give Senator Hagan a run for her money. But what’s remarkable, per Politico, is that polling conducted in September showed her leading anywhere between 12 and 17 percentage points. That lead is history. Even the Tea Party guy is a possible front runner now.
Hagan’s approval ratings, meanwhile, are upside down:
Hagan’s approval ratings are underwater in the poll: 49 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job she’s doing, compared with 44 percent who approve.
The poll also suggests she could be suffering from the implementation of Obamacare: 69 percent of those surveyed said the law’s rollout has been unsuccessful so far, compared with 25 percent who say it’s been a success.
Hagan’s seat is perhaps Senate Republicans’ number one target. Remember, Hagan rode to Washington on the coat tails of candidate Hope and Change. Now, of course, the president faces across-the-board unfavorable ratings, and the disastrous rollout is really upsetting voters in North Carolina. If Obamacare continues to be a thorn in the president’s side, Hagan will, in turn, feel that pinprick, too. As bad as Obamacare is, it’s really opening a window for Republicans to potentially reclaim the Senate in 2014.
Let’s hope they capitalize.