Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) leads all of her potential rivals in North Carolina, according to a new poll from the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling.
Hagan leads Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) 45 percent to 40 percent, though McHenry has made no moves at this point toward a campaign. North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry (R) and North Carolina State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) each trail with 38 percent to Hagan's 46 percent, and Rep. Renee Ellmers trails 47 percent to 38 percent.
However, Hagan's job performance numbers are mediocre, a sign that her lead may be built more on name identification than anything else. And if the GOP can nominate a strong candidate, she could face a tough race. The state is evenly split on Hagan, with 39 percent approving of the job she's doing and 38 percent disapproving.
Berry is state Republicans' new favorite to take on Hagan: She leads a hypothetical primary with 18 percent of the vote, followed by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) at 16 percent. McHenry ties with Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) at 10 percent; North Carolina state Sen. Phil Berger (R) takes 7 percent support; Greg Brannon, a libertarian-leaning doctor, receives 5 percent; and Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) and Tillis each take 3 percent.
The automated poll of 600 voters and 518 regular GOP primary voters was conducted Feb. 7-10. The overall poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points, while the GOP subsample's margin of error is 4.3 points.