When it comes to the election of 2014, we are going to see a close correlation between polling numbers for the Affordable Care Act and for Sen. Kay Hagan. Last summer when Moral Monday events were feeding the press, everyone in the state was angry at the actions of the NCGA. Hagan’s numbers were high. Now, with the news concerned only with what is happening in Washington and local Republicans out of the headlines, that anger has faded, and with it her poll numbers.
It remains to be seen if that anger will flare again with the beginning of the short session. Legislators will want to raise teachers’ salaries and go home as soon as possible. In the meantime, expect to see a continuation of anti-Obamacare TV spots as conservative groups play their only card--again, and again, and again. Hagan could be helped by a successful HKonJ this coming Saturday, especially if the movement continues to spread it’s message to locations around the state. Citizens who watched NCGA activities last summer were not happy. Especially in regards to the Motorcycle Vagina bill, where even those who favored the bill were angered by the sneaky techniques used to pass it.
What could also help Senator Hagan’s campaign are the 60% of people who support an increase in the minimum wage and the 65% who want to continue unemployment benefits. Being able to tout a successful passage of these two things through Congress, could put her just enough votes above her Republican opponent to win the November election.
When it comes to her opponent, the primary will tell us who it will be. Tillis still doesn’t have the name recognition the GOP would hope for in a Republican candidate, as only 1/3 of Republicans voters have ever heard of him. Of those who do know of him, he might be hard pressed to win the 40% of primary votes necessary to take the nomination outright. He could face a run-off election which would eat up valuable time and money for campaigning against Hagan.
If Tillis does win the primary (and does not resign his seat to campaign) the state may be faced with a working Speaker of the House who is soliciting campaign contributions while leading the legislature. The ethics of this is questionable.
With control of the US Senate hanging in the balance outside money will play a big roll in November. The biggest source of news for NC voters remains their local TV stations. The only thing profitable to come out of the next election may well be their ad revenues.