A new automated poll taken just after she had become the Democratic nominee showed state Sen. Kay Hagan within striking distance of Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R), a confirmation for Democrats that Dole is a legitimate target this year.
In the poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, Dole led Hagan 48 percent to 43 percent. The poll of 616 likely general election was taken May 8 and 9 — just days after the May 6 primary — and had a 4-point margin of error.
The last time the automated polling firm queried voters on the Senate race, in February, Dole had a 17-point lead.
“North Carolina’s Senate race could end up being a lot closer than anyone has expected,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “Hagan is benefiting for the visibility she built up during the primary campaign and has a chance if she can compete with Dole financially over the next six months.”
Hagan’s financial viability is very much an open question. Through April 16, she had just one-tenth of Dole’s cash on hand: $317,000 to the incumbent’s $3.1 million.
— Josh Kurtz