NC SEN: Hagan And Tillis Trade Jabs, While Libertarian Could Be A Spoiler In Third Debate

Posted: Oct 15, 2014 3:00 PM

Last week’s North Carolina Senate debate had a new addition; Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh participated in the hour-long slugfest between Republican Thom Tillis and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. If you have read my recaps from the first debate, it was pretty much the same narrative in this contest. All three debates so far have seen Hagan trying to hobble Tillis for supporting education cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy. She also digged him for his alleged spinelessness when it comes to fighting ISIS as well as his abysmal record regarding women’s rights

On the other hand, Tillis hit Hagan for being a rubber stamp on the Obama agenda, voting with the president 95 percent of the time; missing an Armed Services hearing on ISIS to fundraise in New York; and hurting North Carolinians with her votes in favor of Obamacare.

What on Earth could be more important than understanding the threat to our men and women in uniform and the threat that ISIS poses in the Middle East and to our own safety and security?” asked Tillis regarding the NYC fundraising trip Hagan took last February.

Hagan responded by calling Tillis “spineless” on the issue on ISIS for not providing solid policy initiatives to address this threat in the Middle East.

Libertarian Sean Haugh rolled out an anti-tax, anti-debt, and anti-war platform, which could resonate with voters who are unimpressed with both parties. Right now, he’s garnering anywhere from 4 to 7 percent of the vote, most of which to the detriment of Sen. Hagan. While Haugh sided with Hagan on gay marriage, calling the 2012 amendment that banned it “repugnant,” he also agreed with Tillis that raising the minimum wage is probably not the best idea. He used Seattle as an example, saying that since the city has raised the minimum wage, any benefits that were projected to come to fruition have been taxed away. Moreover, there are less jobs and opportunities there.

On the issue of stimulus money, both sides accused each other on unethical behavior (via WRAL):

Hagan and Tillis also traded charges on conflict of interest. Tillis said Hagan's husband's business received $390,000 in federal stimulus money after she voted to approve the overall stimulus package, while Hagan said Tillis' investments benefited from stimulus tax credits. She noted that her husband obtained an ethics opinion before seeking the federal grant money, while Tillis said he never directly benefited from and never voted for the stimulus package.

We will come back to this later. In the meantime, the polls have the race tied, or with Hagan leading Tillis by 1 point. Tillis seems to have erased his deficit in the polls 21 days before Election Day. Yet, one could only wonder where he would be in the polls if he had resigned as House Speaker, which would have allowed him to campaign more heavily in the summer months.