Virginia Foxx tops the wish list of North Carolina Republicans for who they'd like as their Senate candidate next year: 17% pick her to 14% for Sue Myrick, 13% for Patrick McHenry, 11% for Renee Ellmers, 9% for George Holding, 6% for Richard Hudson, 4% for Mark Meadows, and 2% for Thom Tillis. 25% say that they prefer someone else or are unsure.
Foxx is at the head of the line because of her appeal to the 'very conservative' wing of the party. 21% of those voters prefer her to 17% for Myrick and 12% for McHenry. She has very strong support in the Triad. Moderate voters prefer McHenry with 14% picking him to 12% for Foxx and 10% for Myrick. He has strong support in the western part of the state.
It's clear at this point that Republicans really don't have any potential candidates with much of a statewide profile. The highest name recognition any of these folks has is Sue Myrick, and even she's at just 54%.
These numbers are humiliating for Thom Tillis. He's essentially been running for this seat for the last two years, and if any of these folks should have a big statewide profile it's him after holding town meetings all over the state. Yet he actually has a negative favorability rating among GOP primary voters- 12/17- and ranks in last place among everyone we tested at 2%. Certainly it is very early but his efforts so far haven't made much of an impact.
Kay Hagan leads all of these potential Republican foes at this point. Sue Myrick is the only who comes particularly close, trailing 45/44. Hagan has at least a 6 point advantage over everyone else we tested: 45/39 over Renee Ellmers, 48/40 over Patrick McHenry, 48/39 over George Holding, 49/39 over Virginia Foxx, and 48/38 over Tillis.
One thing seems likely: a tight Senate race will put North Carolina in the national spotlight for the 3rd time in the last 4 election cycles.
Full results here