That’s the take from analyst Dan McLaughlin– who finds Tillis sitting with 47% of the two-party vote, and needing 61.9% of the total 15.2% undecided vote in the race to earn 50.01% of the vote in November. From June to October, McLaughlin found Hagan losing 1.1% of her support, but Tillis losing 1.7% of his. Here’s more:
When we last left the Senate races on Friday, the state of the polling was consistent with the theory that undecided voters would break for the GOP due to President Obama’s low approval ratings and the consequent surge for the GOP in the generic ballot, but we had not yet seen enough movement to conclude that this was actually going to happen. .[…]
From June to October, McLaughlin found Hagan losing 1.1% of her support, but Tillis losing 1.7% of his:
As you can see, measured by the change in the leader’s margin in the race, the Republican position improved by at least 1 point in 14 out of 20 races, by at least 2 in 12 out of 20, and by at least 4 in 6 out of 20; the GOP’s position has deteriorated by at least a point in just 3 out of 20 races (including Kansas), and in the one really competitive race that has seen a slight falloff (North Carolina), the Democrat’s position in the polls has gone down, just a little less than the Republican’s (a sign of what a fundamentally weak candidate Thom Tillis is, due mainly to the unpopularity of the GOP state legislature).The overall trendline over these 19 races (an unweighted average) shows a 1-point drop in the Democrats’ polls and a 1.5 point improvement in the Republicans’ since late June. […]
Kansas and North Carolina are still looking stubbornly disappointing for the GOP, in good part due to hostile state political environments counterbalancing a positive national environment, and races like New Hampshire and Michigan remain uphill battles. But the polls, the trends and the national fundamentals still favor a significant gain of seats for Republicans in the Senate. What the Democrats are countering with is the advantage of incumbency: a big edge in fundraising and a massive operational push to get out the vote, especially early. That push should be viewed with some skepticism: Republicans in 2006 made all the same noises about Karl Rove (then still viewed with a sort of superstitious awe by a lot of people on both sides) bringing in the GOP’s vaunted ground game. That said, after 2012, many of us are loath to entirely dismiss the Democrats’ edge in money and organization. Time will tell.
This stage of the game involves a lot of the same kind of skills used in closing a sale in business. You’re dealing with a customer who has a relationship with your competitor. How do you convince them to leave the comfort of what they know, for an entity that they don’t know all that well? Typically, you lay out the differences between yourself and the competition, and count on the fact that said differences so impress the customer that they jump over to your side. So far, the challenger and his team have allowed the incumbent to set the agenda for the campaign’s overall debate. They’ve squandered many opportunities sell the public on the GOP’s limited government agenda and to portray the work in Raleigh as a triumph of limited government vs. the federal government’s overreach.
Some could claim the presence of so many fence-sitters at this stage of the game is a victory against the incumbent. So far, though, the challenger’s campaign hasn’t shown a whole lot to WOW these undecideds into coming off of the fence to their side.