#NCSEN: Suffolk U. / USA Today poll says Hagan 45, Tillis 43, Haugh 5

kaytomANOTHER major poll has come out showing incumbent senator Kay Hagan on top but within the margin of error.   A total of 500 likely general election voters were surveyed between August 16-19.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

 Compare this to PPP’s recent survey, about the same time frame, that found the race at Hagan 42,Tillis 38, Haugh 8. 

The Suffolk poll finds each of the major party candidates dominating the vote within their respective genders.  Hagan leads Tillis 52-34 among women, while Tillis leads Hagan 52-38 among men.   Hagan dominates (52-42)  the Triangle area, while Tillis owns (52-37) the mountainous western part of the state.

Hagan was strongest with respondents who said jobs and education were the most important issues to them.  Tillis supporters cited the budget and security as their top concerns.   According to the poll, 57 percent of Republican respondents said party control of Congress will be a major factor in their voting decisions.  Sixty-three percent of Democrat respondents said the same about their voting choices.

Let’s take a look at some of the pollster’s analysis:

[…] “Both candidates are ahead by wide margins in their respective bases,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Tillis faces an opponent with a low job approval, and his campaign appears to benefit from the negative ratings given President Obama and Obamacare. But Hagan has a Democratic Party registration advantage, higher name recognition, and the Libertarian candidate on the ballot is siphoning votes away from Tillis.”

Ultimately Tillis’ fate may depend on the strength of the Libertarian in November. When Haugh voters were asked who their second choice for U.S. Senate would be, Tillis led Hagan 54 percent-35 percent among the small subset. Among unaffiliated voters – a key voting block that Tillis desperately needs – Haugh was polling 10 percent.

“Registered Republicans see Haugh as a threat and have an unfavorable opinion of the little-known Haugh at twice the statewide rate,” said Paleologos. […]