Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s approval ratings have worsened since November: 33 percent of registered voters approve of how she’s handling the job, and nearly 49 percent disapprove, according to a new Elon University poll released on Monday.
President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat McCrory and Sen. Richard Burr had modest gains in approval ratings. Only Hagan’s numbers were down. It was her worst rating in a year and the fourth straight decline in a year.
In November’s Elon poll, Hagan's numbers were 37 percent approve and 43.5 percent disapprove.
“The trend suggests the Senator will face a tougher-than-expected re-election battle this November,” Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon University Poll, said in a news release.
The latest survey also showed declines for Hagan among Democrats and women.
In Elon’s November poll, 63 percent of Democrats approved of the job she’s doing; the latest number was 55 percent. Among women voters, 40 percent approved in November, and 33 percent in February.
The poll was taken from 925 registered voters Feb. 23-26 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.
TV ads attacking Hagan’s support of the Affordable Care Act have been running statewide since January, the Elon press release noted. The poll included this question: “In the long run, how do you think the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, will affect the healthcare situation in North Carolina as a whole?”
Thirty percent said it would makes things better, 12 percent said it would not make much difference, and 52 percent said it would make things worse.
The poll also found that 59 percent of respondents didn’t recognize the name of Thom Tillis, the leading Republican candidate seeking to defeat Hagan. Still, his name recognition has gone up since November – from 28 percent to 38 percent.
The president’s approval rating was 39 percent, up from 37 percent; 51 percent now disapprove.
McCrory also saw a slight bump in approval, with nearly 36 percent approving, up from 33 percent in November. Still, 43 percent disapprove.
Burr, a Republican who isn’t up for re-election this year, had a 33 percent approval rating, up from 30 percent in November. In the latest poll, 32 percent disapproved and 35 percent said they didn’t know.
The telephone poll of 925 registered voters was conducted Feb. 23-26, and has a margin of error of 3.22 percentage points. The sample is of the population in general with numbers that included both landlines and cell phones.