|Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) is starting to look like one lucky Freshman, in part thanks to the increasingly unpopular Repulican Governor, Pat McCrory. Photo on right courtesy of Donkeyhotey.|
Congressional Republicans really, really need North Carolina's Senate seat to fall in their column next November if their dream of capturing BOTH houses of Congress for the 1st time during the Obama Presidency are going to be realized.
Fortunately for them, Barack Obama, after a brief reelection honeymoon, is again unpopular (thanks to a persistently weak economic recovery, and more recently, a foreign policy blunder that would make even Jimmy Carter blush).
This fact, coupled with the structural advantages the party out of power typically enjoys in midterm elections, has the GOP seeing visions of 2010 on the horizon.
But 'not so fast' says one of 2012's most accurate pollsters, the notably partisan and recently embattled Public Policy Polling . . . or at least, not if the Republicans path to 51 Senate seats runs through North Carolina.
The current breakdown of the 113th Congress is 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans, meaning the GOP would need to pick up at least 5 seats to obtain a majority. According to an array of political forecasting reports, the Republican's are all but assured a three-seat pick-up (the retiring Democrats in South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana). The remaining pick-ups are expected to come from 2 of the following red-state Democrats up for reelection in 2014: Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, or Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina.
And according to last week's numbers from PPP, Sen. Hagan (NC) looks like the LEAST vulnerable. She leads all 7 of her most likely Republican contenders by double-digit margins ranging from 12-17 points.
As the excuse for poor poll numbers, the GOP camps will rightfully note their candidate's near-anonymity with voters. But Senator Hagan isn't that terribly well-known herself, especially for a five year Senator.
What's more? The potential GOP nominees are polling the weakest they have to date in head-to-heads against Hagan, and PPP's been following this race every month since December 2012.