PPP's monthly look at next year's race for the US Senate in North Carolina finds Virginia Foxx back at the top of the Republican wish list for their candidate. 15% say she's their pick to 14% for Cherie Berry, 10% each for Phil Berger and Renee Ellmers, 7% for Greg Brannon, 6% for Thom Tillis, 4% for Jim Cain, and 3% each for Mark Harris and Lynn Wheeler.
Foxx also has the highest net favorability of the potential GOP contenders with Republican primary voters at +15 (34/19). Others with positive numbers are Berry at +10 (31/21), Ellmers at +8 (23/15), and Tillis at +3 (21/18). Foxx leads the GOP field based on her strength with conservatives and voters in the Triad, while Berry does well with moderates and young Republicans.
For the first time in our polling of the 2014 Senate race Kay Hagan doesn't lead all of her challengers. Berry pulls even with her at 45%, owing in large part to a 56/36 advantage with independents. She has a +9 net favorability rating at 29/20 and pulls off the unusual feat of being viewed positively by Republicans (33/22), Democrats (29/19), and independents (25/21) alike.
Hagan does, however, still have leads ranging from 4 to 11 points against the rest of the potential GOP field of candidates. She's up 4 on Phil Berger at 46/42, 6 on Mark Harris at 46/40, 7 on Jim Cain, Thom Tillis, and Virginia Foxx at 48/41, 48/41, and 49/42 respectively, 9 on Renee Ellmers at 48/39, and 11 on Lynn Wheeler at 48/37. Hagan's approval this month comes in at 46/40 and she continues to look like a favorite for reelection overall.
Other notes from North Carolina:
-North Carolinians continue to overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun sales, 81/16 on this month's poll. That includes majority support from Democrats (94/5), independents (75/21), and Republicans (66/30) alike. 49% of voters say they would be more likely to vote for Richard Burr in the future if he changed his no vote from last month to only 22% who say that would make them less likely to vote for him.
-77% of voters in North Carolina say that it's important for there to be a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform, including 49% of voters who say that it's 'very important.' 86% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans, and 68% of independents think it's important for a path to citizenship to be part of immigration legislation.
Full results here