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2014 NC Senate race remains steady in August

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On August 19, Public Policy Polling released a poll of the 2014 US Senate race in North Carolina. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is still leading against Republican Thom Tillis since last month, leading him 43 percent to 42 percent with 14 percent unsure.

But when Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh is named as a choice, he gets 8 percent of the vote, with Hagan at 42 percent, Tillis at 38 percent, and 13 percent unsure. This gives Tillis a 4 point gain and Hagan a 1 point gain since last month, with Haugh holding steady.

Delving deeper into the poll results, we find that Haugh wins the support of 9 percent of Republican voters, 4 percent of Democratic voters, and 12 percent of independent/other voters. A figure for Libertarian voters only was not given. Haugh has lost 2 percentage points each of Republican voters and independent/other voters since last month. That his overall percentage has held steady despite this indicates some irregularities in the polling methods.

Gender information was included in the poll. Women go 45 percent Hagan, 32 percent Tillis, 7 percent Haugh. Men go 44 percent Tillis, 38 percent Hagan, 9 percent Haugh. Since last month, women have shifted 5 points toward Tillis, 1 point toward Hagan, and 1 point away from Haugh; and men have shifted 2 points toward Tillis.

Race was also included in the poll, as White, African-American, or Other. Whites go 45 percent Tillis, 36 percent Hagan, 8 percent Haugh. African-Americans go 65 percent Hagan, 12 percent Tillis, 5 percent Haugh. Others go 39 percent Hagan, 30 percent Tillis, 9 percent Haugh. Since last month, Whites have shifted 4 points toward Hagan, 3 points toward Tillis, and 2 points away from Haugh; African-Americans have shifted 5 points toward Tillis, 1 point toward Haugh, and 8 points away from Hagan; and others have shifted 6 points toward each of Haugh and Tillis, and 10 points away from Hagan.

The age of the respondents were grouped into 18-29, 30-45, 46-65, and 66+. Among 18-to-29-year-olds, Hagan has 33 percent, Tillis has 27 percent, and Haugh has 13 percent. Among 30-to-45-year-olds, Hagan has 36 percent, Tillis has 35 percent, and Haugh has 5 percent. Among 46-to-65-year-olds, Hagan has 46 percent, Tillis has 38 percent, and Haugh has 10 percent. Among people aged 66 or older, Hagan has 44 percent, Tillis has 42 percent, and Haugh has 5 percent. Since last month, 18-to-29-year-olds have shifted 10 points toward Tillis, 4 points toward Hagan, and 2 points away from Haugh; 30-to-45-year-olds have shifted 2 points toward Tillis, 3 points away from Haugh, and 5 points away from Hagan; 46-to-65-year-olds have shifted 3 points toward each of Hagan and Haugh, and 1 point toward Tillis; and people aged 66 or older have shifted 4 points toward each of Hagan and Tillis, and 4 points away from Haugh.

The ideologies of the respondents were grouped as very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, and very conservative. Among very liberal respondents, Hagan has 88 percent, Tillis has 5 percent, and Haugh has 2 percent. Among somewhat liberal respondents, Hagan has 78 percent, Tillis has 11 percent, and Haugh has 6 percent. Among moderate respondents, Hagan has 53 percent, Tillis has 21 percent, and Haugh has 8 percent. Among somewhat conservative respondents, Tillis has 63 percent, Hagan has 11 percent, and Haugh has 10 percent. Among very conservative respondents, Tillis has 74 percent, Haugh has 10 percent, and Hagan has 6 percent. Since last month, very liberal respondents have shifted 14 points toward Hagan, 1 point toward Tillis, and 6 points away from Haugh; somewhat liberal respondents have shifted 3 points toward Haugh, 2 points toward Hagan, and 1 point toward Tillis; moderate respondents have shifted 6 points toward Hagan, 1 point toward Tillis, and 3 points away from Haugh; somewhat conservative respondents have shifted 9 points toward Tillis, 2 points toward Haugh, and 4 points away from Hagan; and very conservative respondents have shifted 4 points toward Hagan, 3 points toward Tillis, 1 point toward Haugh.

The Libertarian Party is the only third party with a candidate running in the 2014 US Senate race in North Carolina, perhaps because it is the only third party that has been able to meet the strict ballot access requirements in North Carolina.

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