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Eye on the Senate: Dem Opponent Catching up to Dole in N.C.

North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole may be hearing foot steps behind her as two polls show her Democratic challenger, Kay Hagan, a five term member of the state senate, closing the gap between them. Public Policy Polling has Dole ahead by 48 percent to 43 percent compared to the 17 point lead she had in February. The survey was conducted May 8-9 and has a margin of error of 4 percent. Rasmussen Reports yesterday released a poll conducted May 8 that showed Hagan ahead of Dole, although by a statistically insignificant 48 percent to 47 percent. A month earlier, Dole had a 13 point lead in this poll.

Hagan scored a runaway victory in the state’s May 6 primary for the right to challenge Dole, and PPP says the visibility she built up during that campaign may have helped. Now it remains to be seen if she can raise the $10 million she says she needs to compete with Dole. As of now, CQ Politics rates the race as “Republican favored” although we note that Dole is vulnerable, in part because her ties to President Bush. Rasmussen noted that Hagan has tried hard to make that connection by noting that Dole votes with Bush 92 percent of the time.

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