by Todd Beeton, Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 01:15:11 PM EDT
As the North Carolina senate race has come into focus with two Democrats having officially entered the race to challenge Elizabeth Dole next year, Public Policy Polling (D) has polled head to head match-ups with Senator Dole to see where the race starts out. They also gauged Dole's approval rating in the state. As you can see below, one year out from the election, Dole starts from a very weak position, unable to achieve 50% in either support or approval.
601 LVs, Oct. 22, MOE 3.95%
Once Democratic state senator Kay Hagan declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for senate as well, PPP wasted no time in going into the field to poll that match-up and released the results today.
795 LVs, Oct. 30, MOE 3.4%
These numbers indicate at the very least that we're going to have a race on her hands. As PPP's blog reminds us, Dole's approval is even lower than that of other Republican senators who are considered top tier targets, such as Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Norm Coleman (R-MN.) And indeed, an Oct. 23 Rasmussen poll has her losing to popular Democratic governor Mike Easley 51%-42% were he to enter the race.
As PPP says:
Obviously, Mike Easley would be the Democrats' best choice and any other Democrat would not perform that well. But if a majority of voters would already consider voting for someone other than the incumbent that's not good news for her.
But perhaps even more worrisome for Dole is the extent to which North Carolina voters are sounding less and less as though they live in a red state and more like the nation as a whole.
Look at these results from Rasmussen:
4) Presidential Matchups
Clinton 43 Giuliani 44
Clinton 44 Thompson 44
Clinton 43 McCain 43
Clinton 46 Romney 41
5) When it comes to the War in Iraq, should the United States withdraw all combat troops immediately, bring the combat troops home within a year, or stay until the mission is completed?
22% Withdraw all combat troops immediately
33% Bring combat troops home within a year
41% Stay until the mission is complete
4% Not sure
Look for this race to become top tier as the Democratic candidates expand their name ID leading up to the primary to determine who will face Senator Dole in November.