NC Poll: Obamacare is Killing Kay Hagan

May 2, 2014

A new Elon University poll shows that incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) is in bad shape as she tries to defend her seat in the 2014 midterms, and suggests that her support for Obamacare is largely to blame.

Just 35 percent of registered voters approve of Hagan’s job performance, according to the poll, compared to 47 percent who disapprove. Only 31 percent of independent voters, and just 36 percent of women, said they approved of Hagan’s job performance.

When respondents who disapproved of Hagan’s performance were asked to explain their disapproval, Hagan’s support for Obamacare was the most frequent response (14 percent), while nearly 8 percent said that Hagan was too close to President Obama.

Opposition to Obamacare appears to be a driving force behind Hagan’s struggles, with 47 percent of voters saying Hagan’s support for the unpopular law makes them less likely to vote for her, compared with 36 percent who said it would make them more likely to vote for her.

This sentiment is echoed across all age groups, even the millennial generation:

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And there isn’t much of a gender gap, either:

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Additionally, a whopping 58 percent of white voters said they’d be less likely to vote for Hagan because of her support for Obamacare, versus 27 percent who said they’d be more likely to vote for her.

President Obama’s approval rating remains underwater in North Carolina, particularly among independents:

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Hagan’s struggles are compounded by the fact that North Carolina is a particularly bad environment for Democrats when it comes to voter turnout in midterm elections. Hagan was first elected in 2008, a banner year for Democrats, particularly in North Carolina, a state Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012.

"Ms. Hagan is far more vulnerable than she appears at first glance," writes Nate Cohn of the New York Times. "If Ms. Hagan cannot broaden her political appeal, it is not clear she can win a midterm election in North Carolina."

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