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Haugh polls double digits in Senate race

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On May 13, Public Policy Polling released a poll of the 2014 US Senate race in North Carolina. The race now appears to be a toss-up, with incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis tied at 41 percent with 18 percent unsure.

But when Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh is named as a choice, he gets 11 percent of the vote, with Hagan at 38 percent, Tillis at 36 percent, and 15 percent unsure.

Delving deeper into the poll results, we find that Haugh wins the support of 9 percent of Republican voters, 9 percent of Democratic voters, and 16 percent of independent/other voters. A figure for Libertarian voters only was not given.

Gender information was included in the poll. Women go 40 percent Hagan, 31 percent Tillis, 10 percent Haugh. Men go 42 percent Tillis, 36 percent Hagan, 12 percent Haugh. Haugh is stronger with men than with women, but Tillis has the greatest percent difference with respect to gender of any candidate (30.18 percent to Haugh's 18.18 percent and Hagan's 10.53 percent.)

Race was also included in the poll, as White, African-American, or Other. Whites go 43 percent Tillis, 33 percent Hagan, 11 percent Haugh. African-Americans go 61 percent Hagan, 11 percent Haugh, 6 percent Tillis. Others go 42 percent Tillis, 31 percent Hagan, 4 percent Haugh. Race clearly plays a role for all three candidates, with Haugh doing exceptionally well with Whites and African-Americans but doing poorly with races other than White or African-American.

The age of the respondents were grouped into 18-29, 30-45, 46-65, and 66+. Among 18-to-29-year-olds, Hagan has 34 percent, Tillis has 20 percent, and Haugh has 18 percent. Among 30-to-45-year-olds, Hagan has 35 percent, Tillis has 32 percent, and Haugh has 16 percent. Among 46-to-65-year-olds, Hagan has 44 percent, Tillis has 38 percent, and Haugh has 8 percent. Among people aged 66 or older, Tillis has 47 percent, Hagan has 35 percent, and Haugh has 6 percent. Haugh appears to have trouble winning support from older voters, but Hagan has more of a concern with that age group, as it is the only age group that Tillis wins. Like most Libertarian candidates, Haugh performs exceptionally well among voters younger than 30, but also has unusually strong appeal for voters aged 30-45.

The ideologies of the respondents were grouped as very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, and very conservative. Among very liberal respondents, Hagan has 59 percent, Haugh has 7 percent, and Tillis has 5 percent. Among somewhat liberal respondents, Hagan has 77 percent, Haugh has 7 percent, and Tillis has 6 percent. Among moderate respondents, Hagan has 50 percent, Tillis has 17 percent, and Haugh has 11 percent. Among somewhat conservative respondents, Tillis has 58 percent, Hagan has 16 percent, and Haugh has 12 percent. Among very conservative respondents, Tillis has 75 percent, Haugh has 13 percent, and Hagan has 4 percent. As most Libertarian candidates do, Haugh has higher numbers from conservatives than from liberals, but picks up a significant amount of protest votes from disaffected Democrats.

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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