Prior to — and since — the May primaries, we were told that Kay Hagan is DEAD MEAT. Lately, it’s been hard to detect any evidence of that. The GOP campaign has stumbled and bumbled in trying to define its candidate to the voters and to communicate any kind of platform. And it’s been a LONG time since we saw a credible public poll showing Hagan down to her GOP challenger.
CNN tells us “Democrats are feeling cautiously bullish about exactly two of these races, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC.” Fox News highlighted FIVE battleground states for control of the US Senate and released polling data on those races. Interestingly, North Carolina was not even mentioned. We weren’t even polled. I watched Bret Baier last night while he reported this polling data. As he was reviewing the electoral map for his audience, Bret got to North Carolina and said: “It appears North Carolina is going to stay blue, and Kay Hagan will be reelected.”
What’s going on here? For some insight, I turned to an old friend of mine who is a seasoned political operative at the congressional and presidential level. He has seen — and advised — a lot of big-time campaigns over the years. (For the record, he has NOT been involved professionally in any campaigns in North Carolina this election cycle.)
I asked my source for his take on the campaign thus far:
“It’s heart-breaking. This SHOULD have been a piece of cake. An awful lot of people I talk to are very frustrated with the Tillis campaign. They have done a lousy job introducing their candidate to the voters. They’ve done a terrible job communicating ANY kind of message or vision that says to the voters ‘Hey, we need to dump this broad and jump aboard the Tillis bandwagon.’ Barring some dramatic turn of events, I believe, in early November, a lot of folks on the Republican side will be thinking hard about ‘What might have been.’ ”
Here’s some food for thought. If Kay Hagan is reelected, it will be the FIRST TIME since 1968 that a Democrat has won reelection to the US Senate from North Carolina.