PPP's first poll of the North Carolina Senate race since Kay Hagan announced her support of gay marriage finds her approval numbers largely unaffected. 39% of voters approve of the job she's doing to 37% who disapprove, almost identical to a 42/39 spread a month ago
Our new poll finds Hagan isn't putting herself much at risk with North Carolina voters by supporting gun control laws either. 54% of voters in the state generally support Congress passing stricter gun laws to only 38% who are opposed, and they're supportive of an assault weapons ban in particular 52/40. Additionally Project New America released polling today showing 79% support for expanding background checks.
Hagan continues to lead all of her potential Republican opponents for next year by margins ranging from 5-13 points. The strongest GOP candidate this month- both for the general election and among Republican primary voters- is Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry. 18% say they'd like her to be their candidate next year compared to 13% for Virginia Foxx, 12% for Renee Ellmers, 11% for Phil Berger, 7% for Thom Tillis, 6% for Greg Brannon, and 1% for Terry Embler. Berry is particularly strong with moderate Republicans and younger ones- among those under 45 she gets 38% support with no one else even in double digits.
Berry is the only one of the potential Republican candidates who has a positive favorability rating with the general electorate- 32% of voters see her favorably to just 18% with a negative opinion. She is well liked across party lines with Republicans (37/18), Democrats (33/18), and independents (25/19) all expressing a positive opinion of her. She comes the closest to Hagan in a head to head match up, trailing by just 5 points at 46/41.
After Berry the Republican who comes closest to Hagan is Ellmers, who trails by 8 points at 48/40. Then it's Berger and Foxx who each trail by 9 points at 48/39, Tillis and Embler who each trail by 10 points at 49/39 and 47/37 respectively, and Brannon who does the worst with a 13 point deficit at 49/36.
One other Hagan related issue- 45% of North Carolinians support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants to 40% who are opposed to it. With the public that closely divided on the issue supporting reform is not likely to cause her any political damage.
Full results here