PPP's new North Carolina poll finds Kay Hagan with her largest lead for reelection since September. She leads by 5 points with 39% to 34% for Thom Tillis and 11% for Libertarian Sean Haugh. When Haugh's supporters say which of the major party candidates they'd choose if they had to pick, Hagan leads 42/38.
Hagan's expanded lead is likely a function of the General Assembly being in session- over the last year and a half her leads have always been the largest when the legislature and Thom Tillis' role at the helm of it has been most in the news. Only 18% of voters approve of the job the General Assembly is doing to 54% who disapprove. Perhaps as an extension of that, Tillis has just a 23% favorability rating with 45% of voters rating him unfavorably.
On a couple of the more recent hot button issues the legislature has dealt with, voters do not support the Republicans' approach. Only 31% think funding teachers raises through the House's proposal of increased lottery sales (19%) or the Senate's proposal of cutting teacher assistants (12%) is a good idea, while 55% would prefer getting that money by raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year. Even Republicans (40/39) would prefer increasing taxes on the wealthy to either the House or Senate's proposal. The recent fracking bill passed by the legislature is unpopular too- only 29% of voters support it to 38% who are opposed.
There are certainly bad signs for Hagan in the poll too. Her approval rating continues to be upside down with 42% of voters giving her good marks to 46% who disapprove. And Barack Obama's unpopularity in the state doesn't make life easy either- only 41% of voters approve of him to 53% who disapprove. The big question for Hagan will be whether she can sustain it if she emerges from the legislative session with a larger lead than she had before it. Last fall most of the momentum she'd built up over the summer faded away following the difficulties with the Obamacare rollout.
Others notes from North Carolina:
-North Carolinians support the proposal President Obama made requiring existing power plants to cut carbon pollution by up to 30%, 58/23. Democrats (71/12) and independents (59/20) both support it overwhelmingly and even Republicans (42/39) do narrowly.
-The student loan bill going through Congress right now divides Kay Hagan and Richard Burr, but voters are much more on the Democrats' side. By a 74/13 spread they say they support letting students refinance their loans at the current lower rates, and that has at least 69% support across party lines.
-Finally, increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour continues to be popular as we find every month in North Carolina. This time the numbers break down 55% supporting it to 34% who are opposed.
Full results here