[Updated May 7] In 2008, then-state Senator Hagan rode a national Democratic wave to beat Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) of North Carolina. But since then, the state has become more Republican, and now-US Senator Hagan is fighting for her political life. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside group, pounded her early with negative ads.
In the May 6 primary, the Republican establishment got its pick for the GOP Senate nomination, state House Speaker Thom Tillis. He won 46 percent of the vote, clearing the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a July runoff, which would have been costly and divisive. The general election battle between Speaker Tillis and Hagan is off and running.
Hagan’s strong fundraising is a plus for her. Cook calls it a tossup. Sabato says the race leans Democratic. Rothenberg calls it "tossup/tilt Democrat."