Dispatches from the campaign trail, April 9, 2014

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• The most recent survey by High Point University and UNC-Chapel Hill puts the approval rating of incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, at 35 percent. The survey covers only statewide elected officials and does not ask about the Republican challengers who are seeking Hagan’s seat.

• More polling: The latest survey of the U.S. Senate race from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows House Speaker Thom Tillis maintaining a slight lead in the Republican primary. It also continues to show Hagan struggling; she trails or is within the margin of error with all eight GOP contenders, leading only Tillis by 2 points. At least 70 percent of voters have no opinion about seven of the eight GOP candidates, and still they prefer Republican challengers to the Democratic incumbent.

• In other Senate news, Hotline reports the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will endorse Tillis in the GOP primary and will run ads on his behalf.

• WUNC radio interviews Frank Roche, who’s opposing incumbent U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.

• Meantime, Ellmers was named 2014 Legislator of the Year by Promotional Products Association International, a national advertising and marketing trade association.

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