U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan lost to Republican challenger Thom Tillis on Nov. 4, but Roll Call put her campaign team in its top 10 of winning campaigns – the only losing Democrat to make the list.
In putting her operations with the “cream of the crop” the publication noted:
“Hagan’s campaign team had a heavy lift this year and was ultimately unsuccessful. Romney won North Carolina in 2012, and Hagan wasn’t known for rally skills like other southern Democrats. Despite President Barack Obama’s low approval rating and congressional dysfunction dominating the headlines, Hagan’s team, led by campaign manager Preston Elliott, put the focus on local issues – and they kept it there. Don’t like the Senate? The campaign bet it could make voters like the North Carolina legislature even less.
“Democrats quickly put Republican Thom Tillis on the defensive through early October, pummeling him with ads about cuts to education spending. By the time Tillis could respond, the narrative had stuck. But in the final weeks of the campaign, Tillis was able to maneuver to offense and pull out a 2-point win.
“On Election Day, even Republicans weren’t sure Tillis would pull out a victory – a sign his opponent ran strong race.”