Poll finds more voters know Tillis

05/02/2014 11:00 AM

05/02/2014 11:01 AM

House Speaker Thom Tillis has made big gains getting his name in front of voters who two months ago had little idea who he was, according to a new Elon University poll.

Tillis’ name recognition has jumped from 38 percent in February to 63 percent this month – far outdistancing his two main rivals in the Republican primary to face U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. Only 26 percent of those surveyed recognized Rev. Mark Harris’ name and just 21 percent know who Dr. Greg Brannon is, the poll found.

Among Republican voters, Tillis has 73 percent name recognition compared to 35 percent for Harris and 28 percent for Brannon.

But knowing doesn’t mean liking. Just 21 percent of respondents said they had a favorable impression of Tillis, which is a slight improvement over the 18 percent in February.

Hagan, meanwhile, can’t find much comfort in the Elon poll. Forty-seven percent said they disapprove of her job performance and 35 percent approve (which is up 2 points from February). But her steady decline in approval ratings over the past year has stopped, the poll found.

There are eight candidates in the primary.

“In regard to name recognition, Thom Tillis is the clear winner among the GOP candidates for U.S. Senate,” said Kenneth Fernandez, an assistant professor and director of the poll.

The poll of 672 registered voters was conducted April 25-28 of households with telephones and cell phones. It has a margin of error of 3.78 percent.

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