Tillis-Hagan battle will be a close call

Tillis-Hagan battle will be a close call

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A new Elon University poll gives Democrat Kay Hagan a slight edge over Republican Thom Tillis, but two other polls released this week show them neck-in-neck.

"Have you got a coin?" asks political analyst Michael Bitzer. "Because at this point the polls, everything seems to be indicating this could be a long night next Tuesday.

"Analysts say the election is a toss up. "It really could go either way at this point," says Mark Kelso, a professor of politics at Queens. Kelso believes the higher than usual turnout for early voting means we'll probably see a higher turnout overall. "And that would be good for the Democratic candidate, because usually in North Carolina," he says, "the people who are perhaps a little less likely to turn out, when they do turn out, they usually vote for the Democrats."

But others believe if those without a steady voting record to show, it'll benefit Republicans.

"The potential in terms of what we've seen in the past, is that that very small five percent of the electorate who are undecided - if they decide to show up - generally tend to break against the president's party," Bitzer says. He has become a lightning rod for both campaigns. 

"From both sides," Bitzer says, "it is pretty much President Obama who has very low approval ratings in this state, that's bearing the brunt of it." 

Tillis has painted Hagan as the president's puppet, someone whose votes support Obama almost all of the time. 

Meanwhile, Hagan's camp is celebrating her connection with the White House - at least in some neighborhoods. She's counting on a high turnout of black voters.

"What this campaign narrative has basically boiled down to is which do you hate more - do you hate Washington and President Obama and Congress or do you hate Raleigh and the state legislature?" Bitzer says. 

If Tillis or Hagan does not win by at least half a percent, there will be a recount. Election officials across the state are prepared for that scenario.

"It's not a difficult process for us. We can easily do that if that is necessary," said Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson.

Dickerson says if there is a recount, it must be complete by November 26th.

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