Defining herself

by | Mar 4, 2014 | 2014 Elections, Editor's Blog, NC Politics, US Senate | 6 comments

According to the latest Elon University poll, Kay Hagan is still seeing her numbers deteriorate. While the sample is registered voters instead of likely voters, the poll indicates she is in troubling territory. And it indicates the relentless assault by Americans for Prosperity is working.

According to the poll, Hagan’s approval dropped to 33% and disapproval increased to 49% from a 37-44 split in November. Every other major politician saw their numbers improve, including President Obama, indicating the the AFP ads made the difference.

The race is far from over, but the numbers mean that Hagan needs to respond sooner than later. The AFP ads have shifted from her support of Obamacare to accusing her of lying about the program. The personal attack is much more concerning. Voters tolerate some level of disagreement with elected officials but they won’t vote for somebody they don’t trust.

Hagan needs to find her voice and she needs to find an answer to the accusations. She can’t afford to walk away from reporters like she did when she filed. She’s a U. S. Senator and she’s running for office. People deserve to hear what she has to say.

Hagan needs to own her statements, apologize for the inaccuracies but reiterate her support for health care reform. Her statement could be something like:

“When I said if you like your plan, you can keep it, I was wrong. I said it with the best information I had at the time. While I wish I hadn’t made that statement and apologize to those who feel deceived, I won’t back off my support for health care reform. We may need to fix the program, and it will certainly change over the years, but I won’t accept going back to a time when 15% of people lack health care or people are denied care because of pre-existing conditions. I’ll continue to move America forward, not backward.”

Regardless, she needs to better define herself as the moderate, common sense Senator that she is. National Journal named her the most moderate Senator in the country. She represents the most competitive state in the country. That’s a pretty good fit and people need to know it.

Hagan’s popularity is not going down because of the job she’s done. It’s going down because she is being defined by an outside interest group. She doesn’t need a SuperPac bashing Thom Tillis. She needs one that will help her tell North Carolinians who she is.


  1. Eilene

    And though it seems like small potatoes on the bigger stage, let’s not forget that Kay owns stock in Monsanto and voted for the continuing resolution that includes the Farmer Assurance Provision, otherwise known as the Monsanto Protection Act. If this company is selling a good product, they don’t need protection from lawsuits. If they aren’t selling a good product, WE DO need protection. However, the alternative, Tillis, is awful, though. Too awful. Kay is the lesser of two evils for many reasons. That’s just one that shows why she is not a fabulous choice.

  2. George Fisher

    Like Thom said, it’s a little too early to tell if Kay Hagan is in serious trouble. But, you’ll be able to tell by the look and feel of her campaign staff. If they start to grumble and run for cover, you might as well take the pictures off the wall and get ready to move back home.

  3. geek49203

    Thom — I think you miss the real reason why Kay is in trouble. Other Senators — in fact, most of them — vote 100% in agreement with their party. So “defining herself” isn’t the issue in this regard.

    Rather, the problem is that Kay has a staff that is totally incompetent when it comes to constituent services. I called ’em up when I had problems with ACA, ’cause Kay was a big supporter and SHOULD have known how to fix problems. Well, her staff was awful. You’d think that she’d have subject matter experts in ACA before its launch, but no, none such. You’d think that her staff would take my contact info and have someone follow up, but no such follow up.

    What I got were answers like “Call the IRS” (yeah, right, they can’t even handle calls from CPA’s this year!) and “Call the White House” (“Yeah, Moosh? Can you put Barry on the phone? It’s Geek49203….”). Totally, totally unprofessional. In fact, I’d say that this is what I’d expect if she hired the local college Democrats and then failed to train them.

    This is bad enough. Mix it with her desire to be the mouthpiece of every Dem shill talking point, and you’ve got “toxic”. For instance, why did she feel the need, as a Senator, to talk about the NC election law changes? When did the Senate have jurisdiction? And of course, when I called to ask her to reconsider, I got some damned young Dem operative-wannabe telling me how she was right and I was wrong.

    So Hagan has a problem. Not only has Obamacare made it a tough election year for Dems, but even in a good year, her constituent services almost certainly would doom her.

    (She needs to call fellow female Dem “sock puppet” Senator Debbie Stabenow, who did marvelous constituent services, and for that reason the Michigan GOP barely ran anyone against her in 2 re-election attempts.)

  4. HunterC

    Actually, Corporate Kay has defined herself rather clearly. And… surprise, surprise… people (actual live people — not corporations) don’t like it.

    Sweet tax deals for companies rolling in profits who keep their money offshore? Check.

    Kissing up to the Pete Peterson oligarchs looking to savage Social Security and any remnants of the New Deal? Check.

    Literally using the word “triangulate” on her web site? Check.

    Hagan has defined herself, and she needs to be sent packing — especially with Villager outlets like the National Journal is praising her as a “moderate.”

    • Brian Thornburg

      . . . and your solution would be to permit McCrory clone Tillis and the Tea Party to take the seat? No thanks. Kay is our best bet to address income inequality, healthcare for all, and fairness in gov’t. All possible GOP options means more of the mess that is McCrory’s Mean NC.

      • HunterC

        Hagan has proven that she and Tillis are just different sides of the same coin.

        Choosing between the awful and the horrible is no choice at all.

        And Hagan as a “best bet to address income inequality” — on what planet?!

        She’s had five years to show what she valued. She failed.

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