New ‘Republican leaning’ poll shows Democrat Hagan with a slim lead

Last week, a new North Carolina-based polling organization released its first poll — which it dubbed its “signature poll” showing a tight race for this year’s U.S. Senate race in North Carolina

The American Insights Poll shows that incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan holds a slim lead over the three leading GOP candidates in a head-to-head matchup.

Hagan leads state House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, 38 percent to 35 percent. She leads Mark Harris 39 percent to 35 percent. She leads Greg Brannon 38 percent to 36 percent.

Republican primary voters have yet to make up their minds on who their nominee will be. Tillis leads with 11 percent, followed by Harris with 7 percent, and Brannon with 4 percent. Heather Grant also garnered 4 percent in the AI Poll.

Overall, 37 percent of North Carolinians polled approve of Hagan’s job in the Senate, with 39 percent approving.

Matthew Faraci, executive director of Fusion Strategies, said AI uses the “triple helix methodology,” including landlines, cell phones, and online polling.

Faraci is a former senior vice president for communications at Generation Opportunity and a former U.S. Labor Department spokesman.

“Triple helix is the most accurate methodology available today,” Faraci said.

“Between 20 and 40 percent of the American population is cell phone only,” said Pearce Godwin, American Insights director.

Godwin and Faraci say it’s OK to call American Insights “Republican leaning,” but stress that their mission is to “get it right” when it comes to accurate polling data.

More AI polls on North Carolina races and issues are expected soon.

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