U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s tumble in the polls in recent weeks may have hit bottom. A new Public Policy Polling survey shows the Democrat’s approval rating at 43 percent with 49 percent disapproving in December.
The numbers don’t look good, but they have stabilized from a month ago when her disapproval numbers spiked 10 points amid the botched roll out of the federal healthcare program.
The PPP survey – first released to Dome – still finds her in a dead heat with her Republican rivals, locked at about 43 percent support. Two little-known rivals – Greg Brannon and newcomer Bill Flynn – actually edge Hagan by two points but the advantage is within the 2.7 percent margin of error. Hagan is tied with Mark Harris and holds a two-point edge against Thom Tillis, the two most prominent GOP challengers.
Harris and Tillis still top the GOP primary race, though all the candidates are locked in a statistical dead heat – check Dome later today for more numbers from the Democratic polling firm’s latest survey.
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Two important committee meetings will bring lawmakers to Raleigh: the Revenue Laws Study Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. and the Health and Human Services joint oversight committee meets at 10 a.m.
“Medicaid expansion is a smart choice for states,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said during a telephone news conference along with Durham Democrats, Mayor Bill Bell and state Sen. Floyd McKissick.
Earnest said that states would save money “over and above the expense of expanding Medicaid.”
“We’ve got to look at the numbers of how much sweat equity it took to get the last convention and what was the actual return,” said McCrory, a Republican and former Charlotte mayor.
He added that he usually prefers to support conventions that would return to town regularly, but he’s open to making an an exception. The Republican National Committee held its 2013 Winter Meeting in Charlotte in January. A spokeswoman said then that the party would begin the convention site selection process in 2014.
Last year’s Democratic convention brought thousands of visitors and the international spotlight to Charlotte for President Barack Obama’s renomination.
“DALE AUSTIN: Well, I still like Hagan, you know. Right now, unless something changes drastically, that's where I'll be.
(NPR NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT DON) GONYEA: That's 61-year-old Dale Austin. He describes himself as an independent voter. As for Obamacare and what the problems with its website may mean for Senator Hagan...
AUSTIN: Well, that's not her fault. It's not her fault.
GONYEA: But just a block away, 70-year-old Ethel Brown, who's here with her grandkids, puts full blame for Obamacare on Senator Hagan.
ETHEL BROWN: If it had not been for her, we wouldn't have - we wouldn't be having this Obama thing, insurance stuff. She did vote for it.
GONYEA: Then Brown adds something that will be a concern to the Hagan campaign.
BROWN: I'm a Democrat. I'm a registered Democrat, but I don't always vote Democrat. I voted for her. But I wouldn't no more.” Read and listen to the story here.
NC Tracks has had more than 3,200 defects since the state started using it July 1, according to the report, and more than 600 had not been fixed by Nov. 5.
“Critical” problems have declined, but the number of new “high” and “medium” defects reported each month remained relatively consistent. Defects rated “high” accounted for 74 percent of unfixed problems. The audit period ran from July 1 to Nov. 6.
The state Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that 81 percent of the defects have been addressed, and those that are left don’t affect the majority of providers. Read more here.
But as to the charge of latte-drinking: Not guilty. “They probably drink Coca-Colas and coffee,” Tom Taft Sr. of Greenville, an attorney and former state senator who serves on the non-profit environmental law firm’s board of trustees, told the Road Worrier. “But not expensive coffee.”
Last week, Gov. Pat McCrory and his transportation secretary, Tony Tata, fired twin barrels of rhetorical birdshot at the Southern Environmental Law Center, whose lawsuit has stalled work on a 2011 contract to replace the 50-year-old Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks. Read more here.
But Republicans aren’t likely to acquiesce lightly. They’ve blocked the North Carolina Democrat’s nomination for months and could still use a collection of procedural hurdles to stymie – or at least delay – the nomination to draw more public scrutiny to the pick. Read more here.
That was the consensus Monday as a Federal Reserve official joined executives from some of Charlotte’s biggest corporations for the Charlotte Chamber’s annual Economic Outlook Conference. Read more here.
The governors say that on hazy summer days as much as 95 percent of their air pollution comes from the other states, including North Carolina. They are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to clamp down on power plants, industrial facilities and automobile traffic here and in other states that send foul air across state lines. Read more here.